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"Disturbing and Cruel:" Assistant Dean Horsfall Comments on New Visa Rule for International Students

Posted on Thursday 7/9/2020
Andrew Horsfall

Universities blast new visa rule for international students

(Science | July 8, 2020) A new U.S. immigration policy announced Monday, which threatens to revoke visas for certain international students if they are not taking in-person classes, is stirring panic and confusion and causing some universities to push back with lawsuits. 

The policy states that international students who are currently enrolled in online-only programs will need to leave the country immediately or transfer to a school with in-person classes to legally continue their education. The announcement doesn’t explicitly distinguish undergraduate and graduate students—creating uncertainty among science and engineering graduate students who are focused on research and had no plans to enroll in courses this fall ...

... When U.S. universities shut down earlier this year due to the spreading coronavirus, they moved spring and summer courses to a fully virtual format. During that time, ICE allowed international students on visas to take more online courses than usually permitted. The 6 July announcement revokes this allowance, even though the pandemic has not slowed in the United States. “We were waiting for guidance on the extension of the current waiver, but received this bombshell,” says Andrew Horsfall, assistant dean of international programs at Syracuse University College of Law. “It’s disturbing and cruel.”

The rule applies to students holding nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 visas. ICE isn’t permitting exemptions if there is a surge in COVID-19 cases near a university, causing an in-person or hybrid course to shift to an online-only format midsemester. If that happens, visa holders will need to leave the country, request a medical leave from their universities, or take other steps to maintain their nonimmigrant status. “Given that [ICE has] articulated what could happen later in the fall semester if there’s another shutdown, it signals that they aren’t planning to make changes,” Horsfall says. “That’s what is scary about this rule" ...

Read the full article.

Adjunct Professor David Reed L’85 Teaches Online International Business Transaction Course at Al Yamamah University

Posted on Wednesday 7/8/2020
David Reed L'85

During summer 2020, David Reed L’85, Adjunct Professor of Law and Founder and Owner of Reed CNY Business Law PC, is teaching International Business Transactions—via video conference—at Syracuse University College of Law partner institution Al Yamamah University College of Law, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The five-week, two-credit hour live course meets twice a week to introduce students to the transactional, regulatory, and litigation aspects of deals involving at least one private party.

In this first-ever course collaboration between the College of Law and the Saudi university, 16 Al Yamamah University students are taking this offering, among other courses, to improve their understanding of international business, to prepare them for opportunities to advance at their workplace, and to determine if they are interested in pursuing international law. The majority of the Saudi students are employed in the legal profession, but many are not lawyers. 

The College of Law entered an international consultative relationship with Al Yamamah University in February 2019. As part of the MOU, College of Law professors have the opportunity to teach courses within the Masters of Law (LL.M.) in Business Law program at Al Yamamah’s newly accredited law school, located on its Riyadh campus.

“After Dean Boise and Syracuse University entered into this new partnership, I was asked by the College if I’d be interested in adapting my International Business Transactions course for Al Yamamah. I quickly agreed and had planned to teach the course in person, but then the COVID-19 pandemic halted travel,” says Reed. “The College of Law, Al Yamamah, and I examined holding the class online, and it was deemed feasible for inclusion in Al Yamamah’s short summer session.” 

Looking ahead, Reed says he hopes to conduct the next class in person, but he says he is ready to hold class online if the coronavirus pandemic situation continues. “My students are knowledgeable and well-informed on world events, and they are energetic in their participation in the virtual classroom discussions,” adds Reed. “My success in bringing this course to Al Yamamah students was made possible thanks to the wonderful assistance of the head of their law department, Dr. Moatasem El Gheriani.” 

Senlet named co-chair of Regulatory Practice Area

Posted on Tuesday 7/7/2020
Ekin Senlet

A member of the Regulatory Practice Area as well as the Energy, Oil & Gas, Renewable Energy, and Cybersecurity Teams, Senlet will serve as the Regulatory Practice Area co-chair. 

Syracuse University College of Law Adds Cisco Palao-Ricketts L'03 to Its Board of Advisors

Posted on Tuesday 7/7/2020
Cisco Palao-Ricketts L'03

Syracuse University College of Law is pleased to announce the addition of Cisco Palao-Ricketts L'03, Partner at DLA Piper, to its Board of Advisors, an appointment that continues the College's commitment to reflect on its Board the diverse talent and leadership represented by its alumni community. 

Palao-Ricketts becomes the first Board Member from the state of California. In recent years, the Golden State has been the fourth or fifth largest source of College of Law applications, and the College continues to build an impressive alumni base in the state: nearly 600 Orange Lawyers and counting.  

"A proud member of our alumni family on the West Coast, Cisco has built a remarkable career in Silicon Valley as a multi-disciplinary specialist in tax, ERISA, securities, corporate, and employment law. This perspective, as well as his lived experience as an immigrant from Peru, make Cisco a dynamic addition to our Board," says Dean Craig M. Boise. "I look forward to the energy Cisco will bring to our discussions as we continue to develop our 21st-century legal education experience."

"As the changing demands of employers and students continue to evolve legal education, the insights of young, successful lawyers such as Cisco become ever more important," says Board of Advisors Chair Robert M. Hallenbeck L’83. “Cisco's enthusiasm and commitment to the College are palpable. Along with the rest of the Board, I welcome him wholeheartedly to our team." 

Born in Cuzco, Peru, Palao-Ricketts left Peru in 1983 due to terrorism and political instability that impacted his family directly. Without knowing English, Palao-Ricketts immigrated to Illinois and lived with his grandparents. After graduating from the University of Chicago Laboratory High School and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with degrees in political science and communications, Palao-Ricketts studied law at Syracuse, developing a strong interest in tax and ERISA law. 

After graduating from Syracuse in 2003, Palao-Ricketts received an LL.M. in tax law from Georgetown Law in 2004, with a focus on employee benefits and executive compensation. Palao-Ricketts began his career at Holme Roberts & Owen before moving to Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in California, where he focused on executive compensation arrangements and mergers and acquisitions. 

Palao-Ricketts joined DLA Piper in 2015, where he is now a partner and leader of the firm’s West Coast Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice. A specialist in executive and equity compensation, he describes himself as a “one-stop-shop on the many laws impacting how employers pay employees and consultants in the technology and life sciences sectors.” 

”I genuinely look forward to contributing in a meaningful way to the College of Law,” says Palao-Ricketts. “I was extremely lucky to have, and to capitalize on, my experience at Syracuse as a student and an alumnus, and I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to pay it forward by being a resource for Dean Boise, the Board of Advisors, and our students.” 

Palao-Ricketts has mentored and advised dozens of students from the College of Law since graduating, including helping students discuss their interest in tax law, bar exam preparation, or the transition to the practice of law. As a consultant to the State Bar of California, Palao-Ricketts for several years drafted model answers and graded bar exams. He has served on the Board of Directors of La Raza Centro Legal, a San Francisco non-profit providing legal services to the working poor, the elderly, and immigrants, and he volunteers as a Boy Scout den leader and a PONY league baseball head coach.

BBI Co-Hosts National Symposium on "Creating a Disability-Inclusive Law School Environment”

Posted on Tuesday 7/7/2020
Burton Blatt Institute

From July 7 through July 9, 2020, the Burton Blatt Institute will convene top law schools in the nation working on disability inclusiveness, accessibility, and campus climate to share ideas and resources, identify existing challenges and barriers, and ultimately form a taskforce that works toward a more disability inclusive future in legal education. 

The symposium seeks to deepen conversations on the intersection of disability and race with particular attention to (1) how ableism and racism function together; (2) racial disparities in COVID-19 that impact our students of color; (3) race-based trauma; and (4) the need to combat anti-blackness in disability advocacy.


Disclosing Disability: Should I or Shouldn’t I?

When applying to law school, deciding whether to request accommodations for classes, the bar exam, internships and externships, and applying for a job after graduation, law students with disabilities grapple with the same decision: “Should I or shouldn’t I disclose my disability?” 

Depending on whether you have an apparent or non-apparent disability, the decision may be framed differently. And, the decision to disclose is complicated by stigma, discrimination (i.e., ableism, racism, sexism), and fear of retaliation. This workshop will discuss topics including students’ personal experiences with and concerns about disclosure, factors that students should consider in making the decision, and how law school administrators can help counsel students.

How Law Schools Can Best Serve Students with Disabilities

For law schools, diversity and inclusion are core values. Nonetheless, disability is often forgotten in this conversation. Further, students with disabilities are not monolithic. They possess multiple identities and experiences. Are we effectively thinking about disability climate from a holistic perspective that considers intersectionality? How does combatting anti-blackness in our institutions converge with our work on disability inclusion? Are we offering training for law school personnel on disability, equity, accessibility, and inclusion?  

This workshop will address how law schools and students can work together to create a campus climate that better serves people with disabilities, including disabled people of color, and not just for the accommodations process.

Accommodations: Creating a Level Playing Field 

More and more students in higher education are requesting accommodations, with a rise in the number and complexity of requests sought for anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, and other non-apparent disabilities. 

This workshop will examine recent trends in accommodations requests including in the COVID-19 virtual learning environment, ways in which law school administrators can work together to address these requests, what a fair accommodations process looks like, challenges students encounter, and teaching self-advocacy skills for students requesting accommodations in the workplace, among other topics.


  • American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Disability Rights
  • Burton Blatt Institute (BBI)
  • Law School Admission Council (LSAC)
  • National Disabled Law Student Association (NDLSA)
  • The Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy and Innovation

Professor William C. Banks Analyzes Hong Kong National Security Law

Posted on Tuesday 7/7/2020
William C. Banks

How Hong Kong national security law compares to legislation in other countries

(South China Morning Post | July 7, 2020) China’s decision to write up and enact a national security law for Hong Kong was welcomed by city leaders, rejected by protesters, and met with incredulity by some legal authorities, with one remarking that it seemed to apply to “everyone on the planet”. But how does it compare to similar laws elsewhere?

National security laws seek to strike a balance between public freedoms and protecting a country, while also shifting in focus as perceived threats change, legal scholars say.

Such a shift was seen after reports by US intelligence agencies that Russia used social media to try to sway the outcome of the US 2016 presidential election, including hacking the campaign of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton ...

... William Banks, a professor emeritus of law with Syracuse University in the United States, said: “[National security] definitions are a game that all governments play. Pay attention instead to how governments treat their citizens.”

Banks said the terrorism sections in Hong Kong’s new law were similar to those in many other countries and were not by themselves problematic.

“The striking feature of the new law is that it criminalises expressive behaviour that is not in any way violent. The sections on secession and subversion are the key provisions,” he said ...

Read the full article

Dean Boise, JDinteractive Featured in Raising the Bar Commentary on Distance Learning

Posted on Monday 7/6/2020
Dean Craig M. Boise

Dean Craig M. Boise is featured in the summer 2020 issue of Raising the Bar, the publication of AccessLex's Center for Legal Education Excellence. 

Dean Boise's thoughts on JDinteractive, the College of Law's fully interactive online law degree program—part of Raising the Bar's "Distinguished Thinker Commentaries on Distance Learning"—can be read starting on page 27.

Blocking Mary Trump's Tell-All: Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 Interviewed by Bloomberg

Posted on Friday 7/3/2020
Roy Gutterman

Mary Trump’s Book Is Temporarily Blocked by New York Judge

(Bloomberg | June 30, 2020) A tell-all book about President Donald Trump’s family written by his niece has been temporarily blocked by a New York judge after a lawsuit claimed disclosures in the manuscript violated a 20-year-old secrecy agreement.

A temporary restraining order against Mary Trump and her publisher, Simon & Schuster, was issued Tuesday by Justice Hal Greenwald in Poughkeepsie, New York. Mary Trump was ordered to explain by July 10 why the judge shouldn’t issue a longer-lasting injunction against the book sought by the president’s brother, Robert Trump, who filed the lawsuit ...

... There is a high bar for blocking publication of a book in the U.S., even in cases where the contents might violate a nondisclosure agreement, said Roy Gutterman, a journalism professor at Syracuse University and director of the Tully Center for Free Speech. If a book violates such a deal, that can be dealt with by the courts after publication, he said.

“Under the First Amendment, the standard has always been there has to be a compelling reason to justify blocking publication with a restraining order,” Gutterman said. “I don’t think an allegation of violating a family settlement NDA rises to the level to justify blocking a publication.”

Read the full article.

DCEx Students Learn Political Communications Law from Joseph Di Scipio L’95 of Fox Corporation

Posted on Thursday 7/2/2020
Joseph Di Scipio L'95

Guest lecturer Joseph Di Scipio L’95 recently spoke with summer DCEx students via videoconference about his role as Fox Corporation’s Senior Vice President, FCC Legal and Business Affairs and Assistant General Counsel. Di Scipio gave insight into his experiences at Fox and an understanding of political communications law. 

Di Scipio explained that he spends 20% of a usual day reviewing political advertisements. He explained that there are two types of campaign advertisements: candidate ads and political action committee (PAC) ads. Di Scipio gave examples of actual campaign advertisements Fox is sent and the day-to-day decisions he makes concerning FCC regulatory matters for the corporation.

Di Scipio also gave insight into some relevant FCC regulations. For example, the Equal Opportunities Rule mandates that if a candidate appears on-air, radio or television stations must provide equal appearance opportunities to other candidates. The exceptions to this rule include appearances by candidates on the news or in interviews.

In his position, Di Scipio explained he has to make tough decisions and many risk assessments. He also noted that his personal partisan views cannot come into play in order for him to adequately perform his duties. 

Di Scipio advised students on the importance of public service and working in government, especially since his government background led him to Fox. He also observed that he has never landed a single legal job without the help of networking. 

Can the Community Enforce Mask-Wearing? Professor Doron Dorfman Weighs In

Posted on Thursday 7/2/2020
Doron Dorfman

Governor Cuomo is asking the community to enforce mask wearing

(CNYCentral | July 1, 2020) At his press conference Wednesday Governor Cuomo was not happy that not everyone is wearing masks, and says perhaps it is up to the people to enforce it.

“We have had compliance issues all across the state,” said Governor Cuomo. “But the local governments, the establishments, and even people have been policing" ...

Doron Dorfman is a professor at Syracuse University who has done extensive research on policing by everyday people.

“I worry that if we only allow lay people to enforce rules and norms, they may not have the best experience with that,” said Professor Dorfman. “There is a lot of bias, perception, and stereotypes that come with it.”

He says with the current policing climate, police may not be the best to enforce the rules either.

Instead, he thinks business owners should feel empowered to do so.

“If we have those public health requirements about wearing masks in closed spaces, the people who own those closed businesses, like restaurants and businesses, will be in the best position to enforce those laws,” said Professor Dorfman ...

Read the full article.

Commentary: Professor David Driesen on the Seila Law Case

Posted on Thursday 7/2/2020
David Driesen

The Seila Law Case: Liberty and Political Firing

(The Hill | July 1, 2020) In Seila Law, the Supreme Court gave President Trump a constitutional right to fire the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for political reasons, nullifying a statute that only authorizes him to fire the director for good cause in a 5-4 decision. The “presidentialist” majority’s reasoning creates a broad constitutional rule authorizing firing almost any powerful executive branch official for wholly political reasons. Seila Law legitimizes President Trump’s repeated abuse of the power to fire federal officials, which he has used to undermine the rule of law. 

Astonishingly, Chief Justice John Roberts’s majority opinion associates the president’s ability to use political firing to instill fear in government employees with the preservation of liberty. The majority, in keeping with conservative political philosophy, sees government bureaucrats as the primary threat to liberty. But almost all of world history, including our own experience in the Revolutionary War, suggests that the chief executive constitutes the primary threat to liberty and democracy itself and that an autocrat destroys democracy through command of subordinates.

The majority creates a constitutional right to fire officials carrying out their duties properly in the midst of a presidential campaign against our democracy that uses abusive political firings to destroy the rule of law. The list of those let go for obeying the law and revealing information about government abuses includes: District Attorney Geoffrey Berman, for conducting investigations of the president’s associates; Inspector General Michael Atkinson, for obeying law requiring sharing a whistleblower complaint with Congress; many other inspectors general, for checking governmental corruption; Homeland Security Director Kirstjen Nielsen, for obeying some immigration law; Attorney General Jeffrey Sessions, for obeying legal ethics rules; and FBI Director James Comey, for investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 election. All government officials now know that speaking the truth or obeying the law on matters important to Trump endangers their livelihood ...

Read the full article.

WaPo Interviews Professor Arlene Kanter About Risks of Returning to Campus

Posted on Thursday 7/2/2020
Arlene Kanter

As young people drive infection spikes, college faculty members fight for the right to teach remotely

(The Washington Post | July 1, 2020) As a new academic year approaches, colleges and universities across the country say they are taking every precaution to safely bring their campuses back to life. But with coronavirus cases surging, especially among young people, college faculty members are demanding the right to teach remotely this fall — no questions asked.

Thousands of professors, increasingly rattled by reopening plans that they say place tuition revenue above their well-being, have signed petitions calling for more flexibility to teach remotely. They argue they should not be forced to disclose medical information or make a case for keeping themselves and their families safe in the middle of a pandemic that has killed more than 125,000 Americans ...

... Arlene S. Kanter, director of the disability law and policy program at Syracuse University, said there are legal protections for faculty members concerned about the risk of returning to campus.

Those with disabilities or conditions that put them at higher risk for severe illness from the novel coronavirus can ask to work from home under ADA rules. Even though the law does not require accommodations for family members of people who are disabled, employers can be flexible to limit the risk of exposure, Kanter said. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has encouraged colleges to provide that flexibility.

“The role of law is important,” Kanter said. “But the law should always be considered the minimum. Universities say they are committed to inclusion, but to be respectful to your community, you have to do the utmost to protect the welfare of your community. That means going beyond what the law may require.”

Read the full article.

Professor Doron Dorfman Joins Leading Scholars to Publish Essay on Disability Rights During Crises

Posted on Wednesday 7/1/2020
Doron Dorfman
Guidry‐Grimes, Laura et al. "Disability Rights as a Necessary Framework for Crisis Standards of Care and the Future of Health Care." Hastings Center Report, 50:3 (June 2020). 

Professor Doron Dorfman has joined a group of leading bioethicists and disability scholars to publish a comprehensive article on healthcare and disability during crises in the leading journal Hastings Center Report.

In their essay, the authors suggest practical ways to shift the framing of crisis standards of care toward disability justice. 

They elaborate on the vision statement provided in the 2010 Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Medicine) “Summary of Guidance for Establishing Crisis Standards of Care for Use in Disaster Situations,” which emphasizes fairness; equitable processes; community and provider engagement, education, and communication; and the rule of law. 

The authors argue that interpreting these elements through disability justice entails a commitment to both distributive and recognitive justice. The disability rights movement's demand of “nothing about us, without us” requires substantive inclusion of disabled people in decision‐making related to their interests, including in crisis planning before, during, and after a pandemic like Covid‐19.

ABA Clears the Way for Syracuse University College of Law’s Expansion of its Online JDinteractive Program

Posted on Wednesday 7/1/2020

The American Bar Association has granted Syracuse University College of Law permission to expand its innovative online law degree program. JDinteractive (JDi) is a fully interactive program that combines live online class sessions with self-paced class sessions, residential courses, and applied learning experiences. 

"The College requested expansion of the JDi program in order to meet increasing demand from strong law degree candidates for a high quality, flexible online law degree program that meets their family, work, and other needs," says Dean Craig M. Boise. "The ABA's approval is a testament to the successful design of our program, which includes a carefully calibrated mix of live online classes taught by College faculty, self-paced classes, applied learning opportunities, and short residencies."

In February 2018, the ABA granted a variance to the College of Law to allow JDi enrollment of up to 65 students per academic year. Since its launch in January 2019, the College has seen a robust increase in interest and applications for the degree program. Under the terms of the expanded variance, the College of Law will be permitted to enroll up to 100 students annually in the JDi program.

The College anticipates substantial demand for the JDi program in the coming year, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty for prospective law students as to whether they will be able to attend a residential law program in fall 2020 and beyond.

"Given the uncertain trajectory of the public health crisis, prospective law students—especially those with preexisting conditions or those caring for others—may understandably be more risk-adverse going forward and make the choice to limit in-person contact," explains Faculty Director of Online Education Nina A. Kohn. "Furthermore, mounting job losses and disruption to families across the country may mean that law students cannot relocate or need to care for family members. With this expansion, we’ll be able to allow more students access to our rigorous program of online legal education so that they don’t have to place their future careers on hold.”

JDi is designed to meet the needs and demands of well-qualified law students for whom a residential program is not feasible. More than half of current JDi students are caregivers for young children or aging relatives; the majority have existing careers; and many are military-connected and thus unable to commit to being in one geographic location for the duration of their law school education. By design, JDi is also uniquely positioned to accommodate students with disabilities, which reflects the College’s long history as a leader in disability law and policy.

"The decision of the ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar recognizes that JDi has the capacity and infrastructure to expand without risk to the quality of either our online or residential J.D. education," adds Kohn. "Since its launch, our program has seen remarkable success in terms of the academic credentials of the students enrolled, the quality of instruction and support for students, and their academic performance."

The College will begin to receive Fall 2021 applications in September 2020. 

About JDinteractive

Launched in January 2019, JDinteractive was the nation's first online law degree program to feature live, interactive class sessions. The program combines these live sessions—taught by College of Law faculty—with highly interactive, self-paced online class sessions that students complete weekly; six in-person residential courses; extracurricular opportunities; access to campus life programs; and applied learning experiences, including externships. jdinteractive.syr.edu


Commentary: Professor Shubha Ghosh on Retiring Offensive Brands & "Vestigial Use"

Posted on Tuesday 6/30/2020
Shubha Ghosh

(PatentlyO | June 29, 2020) As companies voluntarily retire their offensive trademarks, two questions tug at whatever passes for a conscience nowadays.  First, can these undesirable marks come back, revived by whomever sees a market niche for these symbols? This may seem like a ridiculous possibility, but on June 21, 2020, an Intent to Use Application was filed  on the word mark “Aunt Jemima” by Retrobrands, a Florida LLC, whose mission “is to revive ‘abandoned’ consumer iconic brands and to bring them back to the marketplace.” 

The second question is, do these intellectual property mea culpas do any good in the face of companies like Retrobrands and the entrenched nostalgia it represents?  After all, gallons of maple syrup were transformed into Benjamins, even more Tubmans, over the years. Should not there be some disgorgement in the form of reparations?

The proposed doctrine of vestigial use under federal trademark law can address both questions. As described below, vestigial use can prevent trademark abandonment, which would potentially allow some enterprising cultural chauvinist from appropriating the mark. Vestigial use, as applied, can also provide a new revenue source that can finance the necessary reparations.

A vestigial use is the use of a mark to maintain the memory of a brand. Instead of offensive symbols littering the shelves of your local grocery store, they can be relegated to a museum. The idea would be similar to that of Budapest’s Memento Park, where the brutalist statues  from the Soviet era have a fitting resting place, about a forty minute bus ride from the Budapest bus terminal in a rural outskirt more habitable than Siberia but just as overlooked. Memento Park is a reminder of ideas gone woefully wrong.

Vestigial use would allow a trademark owner to continue using a mark without completely abandoning it ...

Read the full article.

Professor David Driesen Weighs in on SCOTUS CFPB Decision

Posted on Tuesday 6/30/2020
David Driesen

SCOTUS decision on CFPB receives support – and condemnation

(Mortgage Professional America | June 30, 2020) Industry groups and advocacy organizations had mixed reactions to the Supreme Court’s Monday ruling that preserved the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau but allowed the president to fire its director at will.

The 5-4 ruling agreed with the position of Seila Law, a California law firm that argued that the agency’s leadership structure—in which a sole director could be fired only for cause—violated the Constitution’s separation of powers clause. Financial industry groups—which have long held that the CFPB’s director had too much power and too little accountability—supported the decision ...

... Others, however, said the decision put too much power in the hands of the president. David Driesen, a constitutional law scholar who serves as a professor at Syracuse University, said the ruling had implications that went far beyond the leadership of one agency.

“The Supreme Court today created a Presidential constitutional right to fire government officials for political reasons,” Driesen said in an email to MPA. “President Trump’s abuse of firing authority and the history of the world show that such unchecked power threatens the rule of law and the survival of democracy" ...

Read the full article.

Professor Arlene Kanter Contributes to New Book on CRPD's Adoption

Posted on Monday 6/29/2020
Recognising Human Rights in Different Cultural Contexts

Professor Arlene Kanter's chapter "The Failure of the United States to Ratify the CRPD" has been published in a new book that reviews how international law is translated into specific cultural contexts, taking the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as its example. Recognising Human Rights in Different Cultural Contexts: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Palgrave, 2020) is edited by Emily Kakoullis of Cardiff University, UK, and Kelley Johnson of Deakin University and University of New South Wales, Australia. 

From 2001-2006, Kanter worked with the UN committee on drafting CRPD. Since then, she has worked with governments and disability organizations on implementing the CRPD in more than a dozen countries. Kakoullis' and Johnson's book explores how CRPD has been interpreted and translated from an international human rights treaty into domestic law and policy in different cultural contexts. 

Beginning with reflections on "culture," "disability," and "human rights" from different disciplinary perspectives, the book is organized into "snapshots" of CRPD's journey from the international level to the domestic; the process of ratification and implementation; and the process of monitoring the CRPD’s implementation within states' cultural contexts. 

Kanter is among 16 leading global contributors who provide cutting-edge accounts of the interactions between the CRPD and diverse cultures, revealing variations in the way that the concept of "culture" is defined. Specifically, Kanter's chapter reviews how and why the United States has failed to ratify the CRPD treaty, even though the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act inspired the convention. 

As Kanter writes in a related article ("Let’s Try Again: Why the United States Should Ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities," Touro Law Review 35, 2019), "CRPD was adopted by the United Nations in 2006 and entered into force in 2008. Since then, 177 countries have ratified it, but not the United States. This is not the first time that the United States has failed to ratify a human rights treaty ... [it] is considered to have one of the worst treaty ratification records in the world." 

Kanter argues that "the best reason for the US to ratify the CRPD is that ratification will help to fully realize the promise of the ADA and its 2008 amendments." 

Reviewing Kakoullis' and Johnson's book, Columbia University Professor Maya Sabatello writes, "[It's an] important addition to the field of disability rights, highlighting the role of culture(s)—legal, social, and identity—on international law-making processes, interpretation, and implementation ... Recognising Human Rights in Different Cultural Contexts provides a first-of-its-kind look into dynamics and embedded values that affect the struggle for human rights of persons with disabilities."

Professor William C. Banks to Vox: Southern Deployment Legal, But Is the Wall?

Posted on Friday 6/26/2020
William C. Banks

The US military will stay on the US-Mexico border, even with migration falling

(Vox | June 25, 2020) The Pentagon will officially keep as many as 4,000 troops at the US-Mexico border in October — ensuring President Donald Trump’s military deployment continues throughout the election season despite no signs of an actual crisis.

In a Thursday statement, Army Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell, a Defense Department spokesperson, said Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved the Department of Homeland Security’s request for assistance at the border. Most military backup will come from the National Guard, he noted, which will help monitor the frontier, provide logistics, and offer transport to Border Patrol personnel. Troops can’t engage in law enforcement activities.

In a follow-up comment to Vox as to why such a decision was made months in advance, Mitchell said, “The current mission is set to expire at the end of September. This is just an extension of the mission through the next fiscal year.” The new authorized number of troops would actually be a decrease from the 5,500 military personnel currently at the border ...

... William Banks, an expert on national security law at Syracuse University, told Vox that such a deployment, like the previous ones, is clearly legal. But, he added, “I continue to question whether the wall construction itself is lawful,” noting that multiple lawsuits proceed.

All this sounds well and good, but the issue is that what was supposed to be a temporary backfill at the border has now become a perpetual solution, and it’s not clear the military is even needed at the Mexico frontier anymore ...

Read the full article

Professor Lauryn Gouldin Awarded Grant to Research Criminal Justice Reform

Posted on Thursday 6/25/2020
Lauryn Gouldin

Professor Lauryn Gouldin has been awarded a New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Grant to support research into trends in criminal justice reform, with a particular focus on developments in New York State.  

As Principal Investigator, Gouldin will organize a speaker series, open to the community, that will address comparative approaches to criminal justice reform; data-driven insights for understanding trends in criminal justice reform; practitioners’ perspectives on reform; and interdisciplinary criminal justice research, among other topics.

The grant also provides support for research into emerging criminal justice reform topics, including pretrial decision-making, comparing New York bail and other reforms with reforms in other states, and analyzing potential for technology to restrain police interference with individual liberty, without increasing public safety risk.

Professor Corri Zoli Discusses Arrest of Chinese Researcher with SCMP

Posted on Thursday 6/25/2020
Corri Zoli

US ties activities of arrested Chinese military officer to those by defendant in Boston case

(South China Morning Post | June 25, 2020) US federal prosecutors in Los Angeles have tied the activities of an arrested Chinese military officer conducting research at the University of California to that of a Chinese defendant charged in another high-profile case, in what Washington sees as a coordinated pattern of spying.

The indictments reflect the US government’s efforts to prevent advanced technologies developed in America from being transferred to China’s military, as lawmakers and government officials all the way up to President Donald Trump warn of Beijing’s attempts to undermine national security ...

... Corri Zoli, director of research at the Institute for Security Policy & Law at Syracuse University in New York, went further: “I can’t imagine that the Chinese government would be sending active-duty military officers to academic tech programmes, who are on their payroll and engaging is some sort of transfer of research technology, and they’re not somehow involved” in an orchestrated tech transfer strategy, she said.

“These efforts are very much a kind of fourth-generation warfare or information-warfare-type strategy, and this is the way of our contemporary world,” Zoli added.

“It’s not just China doing this. It's everybody. This is the way that we're evolving into a new battlespace, but China happens to be very effective at it.”

Read the full article

Beth Kubala Joins Virtual Women Veterans Recognition Day

Posted on Thursday 6/25/2020
Beth Kubala

New York State's Virtual Women Veterans Recognition Day took place via Zoom on June 12, 2020. Joining Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic (VLC) Director Beth Kubala as a panelist at the online event were Syracuse University Vice Chancellor Mike Haynie and Nick Armstrong, Senior Director for Research and Analytics, Institute for Veterans and Military Families, as well as other leaders from across the state. 

Kubala spoke about the legal services provided by VLC, and she encouraged women veterans in attendance to explore the wide range of benefits offered through the US Department of Veterans Affairs and New York State. “Do not hesitate to apply for the benefits that you have earned, and that you deserve.” she emphasized. 

Women Veterans Recognition Day is an annual event held at the New York State capitol in Albany (the accompanying photo is from the 2019 event). 

Assemblywoman and US Army veteran Pamela J. Hunter of Syracuse hosted this year's virtual celebration that brought together women veterans, state legislators— who expressed their gratitude for the service and sacrifice of the veterans—and state veterans organizations. In addition to Syracuse University, panelists represented the Binghamton Veteran Center, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Program, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  


Professor Corri Zoli Awarded US Intelligence Community Grant to Offer Geopolitical Simulation

Posted on Thursday 6/25/2020
Corri Zoli

Professor Corri Zoli, Syracuse University College of Law Director of Sponsored Research, has been awarded an Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (ICCAE) Program Office grant for a 2020 Virtual Summer Session Simulation project she is spearheading entitled "Strategic Triangulation in Central, South, and East Asia." The award is made through the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which directs the national ICCAE program. 

The nationwide ODNI ICCAE Summer Session takes place across 26 July and 7 Aug., 2020. The simulation, which will be presented to ICCAE students twice, draws on the international security subject matter expertise of Zoli, a Co-Investigator for the Syracuse University ICCAE, and Robert B. Murrett, Professor of Practice in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and SU ICCAE Primary Investigator. Also helping to design the simulation are Professor James Edward Crill II, Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute (FNSSI), College of Arts and Sciences; Professor Margaret Hermann, Director of the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, Maxwell School; Professor Michael Marciano, Associate Director of FNSSI Research; and Professor Robert A. Rubinstein, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Professor of International Relations, Maxwell School. 

"The ODNI ICCAE online simulation scenario reflects today’s highly dynamic strategic environment and the stressors currently faced by the 17 elements of the US Intelligence Community (IC) and our national security institutions," explains Zoli. "This environment is characterized by complexity and unpredictability, asymmetric actors, transformative technology, and global economic and public health variables, to name just a few challenges." To provide a realistic geopolitical theater, the simulation begins with a recent real-world event: on April 2, 2020, an Indian quadcopter was shot down by the Pakistan Army after it violated Pakistan’s airspace in the Sankh district and entered 600 metres into Pakistan's territory to conduct surveillance. 

"As the simulation unfolds, ICCAE students will discover, through plot-twists and seemingly unrelated incidents in Afghanistan—including the release of a modified vaccinia virus and the recovery of fissile material from a dirty bomb—that China is influencing actors in the background," explains Zoli. The students, adopting various roles in the IC community, must puzzle their way through this combustible mix of events, involving operationalized chemical and nuclear capabilities, illicit global economic collaboration, disrupted supply chains, and the role of transnational critical infrastructure, such the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative. 

“ICCAE students will play US intelligence analysts from many of the 17 IC agencies and must make sense of the threats and opportunities that these kaleidoscopic challenges create," says Zoli.

Zoli explains that in the interdisciplinary spirit of the SU ICCAE program, the simulation exercise is the result of a collaborative partnership that includes faculty from the College of Law, College of Arts and Sciences, and the Maxwell School. Zoli adds that several of her College of Law colleagues also will share their expertise with participating ICCAE students from across the nation. Furthermore, SU ICCAE graduate students have been invited to join with and mentor ICCAE summer session students during the simulations. 


Recently renewed for year two, the Syracuse University Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (SU ICCAE) is a Congressionally-mandated, $1.5 million federal award program designed to increase the recruitment of diverse candidates into US public service and the 17 agencies of the Intelligence Community. SU ICCAE—which includes minority-serving partner institutions CUNY Grove, CUNY John Jay, Norfolk State University, and Wells College—is open to all Syracuse University faculty and students. Embracing a broad understanding of diversity, SU ICCAE prioritizes the central role and contribution of diversity to public service, building next-generation knowledge professionals, and the ethics and rule of law tradition essential to US security policy and governance.

Syracuse University College of Law Students Awarded Downey Scholarships

Posted on Wednesday 6/24/2020

Rising 3L Sehseh K. Sanan and 1L Penny Quinteros have been awarded Downey Scholarships by the Syracuse University Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (SU ICCAE). The $1,500 awards recognize the students' academic excellence; diversity of background, perspectives, and experiences; and commitment to a career in public service.

The award is named for John “Jack” Downey, a Superior Court Judge in New Haven, CT, for more than 35 years, serving primarily in the area of juvenile justice. Before attending law school, Downey was one of the first CIA paramilitary officers who distinguished himself by his response to duress. In 1952, while on a clandestine mission during the Korean War, Downey’s aircraft was shot down in Manchuria, and Downey was imprisoned in China for 21 years. He earned the Distinguished Intelligence Cross, CIA’s highest award for valor. 

Recently renewed for year two, SU ICCAE is a Congressionally-mandated, $1.5 million federal award program designed to increase the recruitment of diverse candidates into US public service and the 17 agencies of the Intelligence Community. SU ICCAE—which includes minority-serving partner institutions CUNY Grove, CUNY John Jay, Norfolk State University, and Wells College—is open to all SU faculty and students. Embracing a broad understanding of diversity, SU ICCAE prioritizes the central role and contribution of diversity to public service, building next-generation knowledge professionals, and the ethics and rule of law tradition essential to US security policy and governance.

Serving on the interdisciplinary SU ICCAE Downey Scholars Graduate Selection Committee are Professor Audie Klotz (Chair), Department of Political Science, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs; Professor Michael Marciano, Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute, College of Arts and Sciences; Professor Suzette Meléndez, College of Law; Professor Corri Zoli, College of Law; and Lindsay Burt, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Political Science, Maxwell School. 

Rising 3L Sehseh K. Sanan and 1L Penny Quinteros
Rising 3L Sehseh K. Sanan and 1L Penny Quinteros

Professor Aliza Milner Presents on Asynchronous Legal Writing Courses at William & Mary Conference

Posted on Tuesday 6/23/2020
Aliza Milner

Professor Aliza Milner, Director of Legal Communication and Research, presented on "Developing Asynchronous Content in Legal Writing Courses" at William & Mary Law School’s Conference for Excellence in Online Teaching Legal Research and Writing, presented via Zoom across June 18 and 19, 2020. 

The conference focused on the best practices for online teaching, tailored to legal writing faculty and law librarians, an especially prescient topic given that many law schools will be employing hybrid teaching methods for the fall 2020 semester, due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. 

More than 375 people attended Milner's session, which also featured Brian Larson, Associate Professor, Texas A&M University School of Law, and Allison Martin, Clinical Professor of Law, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. 

Central questions the panelists posed were, What can related disciplines teach about delivering asynchronous content and how may evidence-based online teaching of technical writing inform online teaching of legal writing? The presenters also discussed strategies and "corresponding online gadgets and gizmos" for effectively converting a live legal writing course into an asynchronous course. Finally, the presentation addressed how to divide a course between asynchronous and live classes, as well as what works for self-study versus what teaching should be preserved for live classes? 

College of Law Announces 2020 Law Honors Awards Recipients

Posted on Tuesday 6/23/2020
College of Law

At its Law Alumni Weekend 2020—happening online from September 24 to 26—the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association and Syracuse University College of Law will celebrate the achievements of five alumni and one emeritus professor. This year's recipients have distinguished themselves for their service to the College, their communities, and the practice of law.

Congratulations to the honorees:

  • Professor Emeritus William C. Banks, for his service to the College of Law, where he has served as a Distinguished and Emeritus Professor and Interim Dean; Founding Director of the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law (formerly the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism); and for his scholarship and leadership in the fields of constitutional law, national security, and counterterrorism law.
  • Everett A. Gillison L’85, for his lifetime commitment to public service, including as a member of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, Deputy Mayor of Public Safety for the City of Philadelphia, Chief of Staff to Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, and as a member of the Pennsylvania Probation and Parole Board and Pennsylvania State Ethics Board.
  • Virginia L. Grady L’83, for her commitment to advocacy on behalf of indigent defendants, highlighted by her continuing service as the Federal Public Defender for the Districts of Colorado and Wyoming, and her leadership in advancing the legal profession in training lawyers in federal criminal practice and procedure and in seeking to improve the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
  • Professor Emeritus Thomas J. Maroney L’63, for his 44 years as a faculty member of the College of Law; his public service as United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York and as Assistant Attorney General; his commitment to alternative dispute resolution as a respected labor arbitrator; and his dedication to his community as a past chair of the CNY Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union and as a long-time volunteer fire police officer.
  • M. Catherine Richardson L’77, for her dedication to the practice of law and to her community, where she spent her entire legal career specializing in corporate healthcare law and operations, and for her commitment to the legal profession and efforts to advance leadership opportunities for women, including serving as the first woman President of the Onondaga County Bar Association and second woman President of the New York State Bar Association.
  • Koert A. Wehberg L’08, for his dedication to proactive, policy- and community-driven systemic change for people with disabilities, ensuring access for all people by litigating against governmental agencies to ensure those rights, and most recently by being named Executive Director of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities.

Read the recipients' full biographies at this webpage. To learn more about all 2020 Law Alumni Weekend programs and to register, follow this link.

Professor Doron Dorfman's Research Cited by Poynter Institute

Posted on Monday 6/22/2020
Doron Dorfman

Can the government legally force you to wear a mask?

(Poynter Institute | June 22, 2020) If we want to reopen schools, we must change the trends now

With schools from elementary to universities trying to find a way to open their doors in six to eight weeks, America has to find a way to reverse the coronavirus trend that just grew worse in almost half the country.

This weekend, the COVID-19 pandemic spread at or near record levels in 22 states. In some states, the new cases set records. In others, the new cases were the highest measured since the first of May.

Can the government legally force you to wear a mask?

The answer is “yes.” In a pandemic, governments have the authority to do a lot of things that would otherwise be questionable.

Think of it like this: The government has the right to ban smoking in public places because your smoking can affect my health. And some places have signs that say, “No shirt, no shoes, no service.” Just add “no mask” to the sign ...

... Doron Dorfmann, a Syracuse University law professor who specializes in disability law, told Syracuse.com:

There may be legitimate disabilities that would prevent someone from wearing a mask: someone with autism who has sensory issues, for example, or someone with a respiratory problem for which a mask would make breathing difficult.

Under the (federal Americans with Disabilities Act), he said, store managers must be cautious in questioning anyone who says they have a disability. The manager, for example, can’t ask what the disability is.

Shop keepers can ask two questions of that person, Dorfman said: “Is (not wearing a mask) an accommodation? What kind of benefit do you get from not wearing a mask?”

Read the full article.

SULAA Statement in Support of Black Lives Matter

Posted on Friday 6/19/2020

Today is Juneteenth, a holiday marking the 155th anniversary of the end of slavery in this country.  This should be a time of celebration.  Yet, as the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many other victims of police brutality and racially motivated violence so disturbingly and painfully demonstrate, we continue to live in a nation plagued by racism and intolerance.  Enough is enough.

The Syracuse University Law Alumni Association (SULAA), an organization that champions equality and the pursuit of justice, believes that silence is not an option.  Black lives matter.  To all alumni, students, faculty, and staff of our College of Law who are Black, Indigenous, and persons of color:  We hear you.  We stand with you.  You are not alone.

All of us, as attorneys and attorneys-in-training, must be brutally honest with ourselves and each other.  Racism has been embedded deep within our societal and political institutions for more than 400 years, providing unequal opportunities to people based on the color of their skin.  We must do better to dismantle these systemic injustices.  This starts by acknowledging that the legal system in which we practice has been built upon a historically unequal system that oppresses those who are “less than” some other person or group for having different immutable characteristics.  Given the historical record, we can expect different outcomes only when we are willing to do the work to achieve them.

As attorneys, we have a heightened duty to stand against injustice anywhere and everywhere.  SULAA seeks to make meaningful progress in our legal system and commits to do so by amplifying voices of color through partnership and collaboration in sharing their stories, celebrating their milestones, and supporting their endeavors.  We are grateful to our Inclusion Network for bringing College of Law alumni of color to the forefront and providing support to current law students.

Today, SULAA challenges you to join us in standing in solidarity with the Black community by supporting the Black Law Student Association in fundraising for Black Lives Matter protest organizations, the City of Syracuse youth programs, and other various organizations fighting for freedom and justice.  A link to the fund is available here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/syracuse-black-law-student-association-blm-fund.

We recognize that this is but a start, and we pledge to do more.  With each step, we promise transparency and openness.  We also welcome our law school community’s ideas to bring about the changes that are needed to achieve full equality in our legal system, our society, and our nation.  Please send us a message and share your thoughts.  Although this is not the first time that we, as members of the Syracuse University community, have raised our voices to address these issues, this will not be the last time we speak out.  Now, more than ever, we must fulfill the promise of Juneteenth and finally bring an end to racial injustice in all its forms.  Now is the time to put actions behind our words.  Together.

Betania Allo LL.M.’20 Selected for a Robert B. Menschel Public Service Fellows Fund Award

Posted on Thursday 6/18/2020
Betania Allo LL.M.'20

Betania Allo LL.M.’20 (Argentina), an LL.M. graduate whose interests lie at the intersection of law, technology, and international security, was selected for a Syracuse University Robert B. Menschel Public Service Fellows Fund award. 

The Robert B. Menschel Public Service Fellows Fund was established to support Syracuse University graduate students who, upon their graduation, have chosen employment in a not-for-profit organization, including federal, state and local government offices and schools, or a non-governmental organization, with the intention of encouraging such students to consider a career in that sector.

Allo is using the Menschel Public Service Fellows Fund to complete her service at the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, specifically in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) coordination, which conducts expert assessments of Member States and facilitates technical assistance on the use of technology for terrorist purposes. 

“I am immensely grateful for this award and how it will allow me to make a broader impact. I would also like to acknowledge the Menschels’ commitment to promoting the leadership and professional development of women in international security,” says Allo.

Allo has embarked on a career of public service in Argentine politics and international experiences in research and public policy. Her interests in this sector have grown in relevance since the COVID-19 pandemic has gripped the world. 

“I am concerned about the consequences of the global COVID-19 health crisis. Terrorists of all ideological origins see it as an opportunity to pursue their objectives and seek to capitalize on the increase of online activity to spread their narrative. I hope to collaborate with multiple stakeholders to advance the complexities of the use of new technologies by terrorists, and by States and organizations who combat them, contributing to the world's betterment toward a safer and just world.”

Allo obtained her law degree from the University of Morón in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2017 and completed her Masters in International Relations at Harvard University in 2019. She is the South America Coordinator for NextGen 5.0, editor of the International Counter-Terrorism Review (ICTR), and the co-founder of OpenContracts, which provides blockchain-based solutions to improve legal services. While at the College of Law, Allo served as the LL.M. Class of 2020 Student Bar Association Representative.

Szopinski Named to Board

Posted on Wednesday 6/17/2020
Brianne Szopinski

Girls Education Collaborative, a Buffalo-based nonprofit working to bring social change through gender-equity education in underserved regions of the developing world, is pleased to welcome a new board member, Brianne Szopinski of Buffalo.

Professor Doron Dorfman's Research on the "Fear of the Disability Con" Cited in WaPo

Posted on Wednesday 6/17/2020
Doron Dorfman

Professor Doron Dorfman's Research on the "Fear of the Disability Con" Cited in WaPo

(The Washington Post | June 17, 2020) ... Every single professional with a disability I know has been questioned privately and publicly about whether their “condition” hinders their ability to do their job. This is a universal truth and fear for any individual across physical, mental, intellectual, sensory and chronic illness communities.

This social shaming is bad enough. But it is combined with the government’s attacks on people with disabilities and their families who receive benefits such as Social Security Disability Insurance, nutrition assistance or lighting and heating assistance as fakers, takers and moneymakers. This adds fuel to the “fear of the disability con” as described by scholars like Doron Dorfman, or the idea that a majority of people who use services and supports tied to a disability, in fact, are not disabled.

Stigma against people with disabilities is real and dangerous ...

Read the full article.

Professor Arlene Kanter writes "Can Faculty Be Forced Back on Campus?" at The Chronicle

Posted on Tuesday 6/16/2020
Professor Arlene Kanter

Professor Arlene Kanter writes "Can Faculty Be Forced Back on Campus?" at The Chronicle. The article examines the rights of faculty as colleges seek to open campuses in the fall.

Professor Nina Kohn Reviews Illinois' Nursing Home Immunity for the Chicago Reader

Posted on Monday 6/15/2020
Nina Kohn

The problem with Pritzker's pandemic immunity orders

(Chicago Reader | June 12, 2020) On the afternoon of the April 1 pandemic press conference, Governor J.B. Pritzker said, "We're doing our best to take care of our seniors, our children, people who are in our care. Our number one concern is the welfare of the people who are in our care." Later that same day, Pritzker quietly issued an emergency order granting Illinois nursing homes and hospitals a broad swath of legal immunities for injuries or deaths from negligence. The AARP-IL, disability rights activists, attorneys, experts, and a Department on Aging official believe the immunities from litigation will harm Illinoisans, especially those in long-term care ...

... Law school professors Nina Kohn and Jessica Roberts have published criticisms of similar orders in other states. They say the Illinois order's breadth is unusual, unnecessary, and likely harmful. After reviewing EO 2020-19, Kohn, David M. Levy Professor of Law at Syracuse University College of Law, said, "Granting long-term care facilities immunity from negligence claims is not something you would do if you truly care about residents of long-term care facilities" ...

... Kohn is worried. "The linkage between the COVID disaster and immunity is weak here," she said. "We're not just talking about protecting facilities from those difficult ethical decisions amid a crush of COVID patients competing for ventilators. This goes well beyond that situation to really put any patient in any facility in harm's way by essentially saying you don't have to act reasonably to your patients during this period in history" ...

Read the full article.

Professor Nina Kohn Comments on Nursing Home Protections in New York State

Posted on Friday 6/12/2020
Nina Kohn

NY nursing homes with COVID-19 deaths have liability shield

(PIX11 | June 11, 2020) The New York State Department of Health started investigations many weeks ago about the way COVID=19 deaths are being counted in nursing homes.

Michael Arcuri wants to know if his mother, Louise’s, death on April 16 from COVID-19 pneumonia was listed as a nursing home—or hospital—death.

His 74-year-old mother technically died at Plainview Hospital, across the street from the nursing facility where she contracted coronavirus. Louise Arcuri got sick with a fever five days after a state directive said nursing homes could not turn down patients with COVID-19.

Her son, Michael Arcuri, pointed to a blank line on the death certificate.

“I think it’s like line 4-G,” he said. “It doesn’t have where she was transported from, which is Central Island, right across the street.”

Personal injury lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, told PIX11 more than 20 families had contacted him ...

... Professor Nina Kohn of Syracuse University, who specializes in elder law, said the New York State legislature really protected nursing home owners and board members with its vote for the provision.

“There’s really no state in the nation that’s granted nursing homes and their owners such broad protection,” Kohn told PIX11. “That’s dangerous for workers; it’s dangerous for residents" ...

Read the full story

Rising 2L Christopher Martz Selected to Attend the 5th Annual FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Symposium - Remotely Piloted Edition

Posted on Friday 6/12/2020
Christopher Martz

Rising 2L Christopher Martz will join the virtual industry conference, the 5th Annual FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Symposium - Remotely Piloted Edition, to further his legal research on the development of UAS policy and the ethical framework that is needed for safe use domestically and abroad. His goal is to publish his findings in one of the College of Law’s academic journals.

Funding for Martz’s participation was secured through Syracuse University’s Autonomous Systems Policy Institute. The Symposium will be held virtually across two sections in July and August.

Before attending the College of Law, Martz was an Arabic linguist working for the Navy and National Security Agency. Part of his duties as an Arabic linguist included work on MQ-1 and MQ-9 UAS platforms performing Signals Intelligence team management, analysis, geolocation reporting and operations, Overhead Collection Management, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Information Operations, and Arabic Language transcription, translation, and analysis.

“Attending the symposium, even virtually, will have a direct impact on my research and scholarship on the safe integration of UAS in the National Airspace System, and international airspace,” says Martz. “In addition to my academic goals, I am planning on working in policy by taking my research and writing and putting it into action after graduation.”

Chantal Wentworth-Mullin Selected as Board Member for National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium

Posted on Friday 6/12/2020
Chantal Wentworth-Mullin

Chantal Wentworth-Mullin, Managing Director of the Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic at Syracuse University College of Law (VLC), has been selected as a board member for the National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium. NLSVCC is a collaborative effort led by the nation’s law school legal clinics dedicated to addressing the unique legal needs of US military veterans. 

The Consortium works with like-minded stakeholders to support and advance common interests with the US Department of Veterans Affairs, US Congress, state and local veterans service organizations, court systems, educators, and all relevant entities for the benefit of veterans throughout the country.

“Chantal’s experience working with veterans and their families has well positioned her for this opportunity. She is an expert in benefits assistance, a passionate advocate for our clients, and a wonderful mentor for our students,” says Beth Kubala, VLC Executive Director.  “We are thrilled that our colleagues in veterans legal clinics across the nation also recognize these talents and have elected her to this very impactful role.”

Since 2016, the NLSVCC has collaborated on amicus briefs, books, conferences, articles, and legislative priorities, among other activities.  The Consortium has proven to be a unifying force to share best practices and explore synergies among legal clinics, legal professionals, and law students to aid veterans nationwide.  

Wentworth-Mullin's position is for three years, and she will be responsible for actively participating in monthly conference calls and other meetings as required by the president, as well as participating on committees, representing membership, and supporting NLSVCC's work.


Legal Research Refresher: Video & Materials Available

Posted on Thursday 6/11/2020

A Legal Research Refresher program was presented by Librarians at the Syracuse University College of Law Library on June 11, 2020.  A video recording is available below for those who were unable to attend the live session or those who'd like to review it again.  Materials used during the presentation are also provided below.

Legal Research Refresher [video recording of live presentation]

Presentation Materials:

Part 1: Secondary Sources [PowerPoint slides in PDF]

Part 2: Legislative History & Codes [PowerPoint slides in PDF]

Part 3: Administrative Law [PowerPoint slides in PDF]

Research template [PDF document]

Professor Peter Blanck Publishes Disability Law and Policy Textbook

Posted on Thursday 6/11/2020
Disability Law and Policy

University Professor Peter Blanck, Chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute, has published a groundbreaking new textbook on Disability Law and Policy (Foundation Press/West Academic, 2020).

Disability Law and Policy provides an overview of the major themes and insights in disability law. It is also a compendium of stories about how the US legal system has responded to the needs of impacted individuals. 

2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. During the past three decades, disability law and policy, including the law of the ADA itself, have evolved dramatically in the United States and internationally. 

Walls of inaccessibility, exclusion, segregation, stigma, and discrimination have been torn down, often brick-by-brick. But as Blanck points out, the work continues, many times led by advocates who have never known a world without the ADA and are now building on the efforts of those who came before them.

Writing in the Foreword, Lex Frieden, former Chairperson of the National Council on Disability, writes, “In 1967, I survived a head-on car crash. When I woke up, I was paralyzed from the shoulders down ... My story is one of many in the modern disability rights movement. In Disability Law and Policy, Peter Blanck retells my story, and the personal experiences of many others living with disabilities, in a master tour of the area."

Frieden describes Blanck as a "world-renowned teacher, researcher, lawyer, and advocate. He has been central to the modern sea change in disability civil rights." He adds, "Disability Law and Policy should be read by all of us—people with the lived experience of disability and their advocates, parents, family members, and friends.”

"A new generation of people with disabilities, building on the efforts of Lex Frieden and many others, families, friends, advocates, and supporters, is stepping forward," observes Blanck. "As a guiding beacon, Disability Law and Policy offers hope of a future in which all people, regardless of individual difference, will be welcomed as full and equal members of society.”

Professor William C. Banks Speaks to PBS Newshour About National Guard Deployments

Posted on Wednesday 6/10/2020
William C. Banks

‘Optics matter.’ National Guard deployments amid unrest have a long and controversial history

(PBS Newshour | June 9, 2020) When major protests erupted in dozens of cities around the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death, many states responded by calling on the National Guard to police demonstrations and to enforce curfews.

In all, more than 30 states activated about 32,000 National Guard members to supplement local police efforts to manage the unrest, which was largely lawful, but in some cases resulted in the destruction of businesses and instances of violence.

A number of high profile clashes between law enforcement and protesters have prompted criticism about what many have decried as excessive use of force — the very issue that gave rise to the demonstrations.

For decades, the guard has served the dual function of operating both domestically, in a number of capacities, and internationally. For instance, about 60,000 additional guard members are assisting this year with public safety efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic and natural disaster preparation and response as tropical storm season gets underway. But in light of recent confrontations, many are questioning the wisdom of using trained military to monitor American civilians protesting on American soil ...

... The National Guard is trained to help domestically in a variety of capacities, said William Banks, a professor emeritus at Syracuse University College of Law. “That said, they are members of the military, not law enforcement, so they are largely trained to supplement military jobs,” Banks said ...

Read the full article.

A Special Message from Dean Boise to the College of Law Community

Posted on Tuesday 6/9/2020

Dear College of Law Community,

Over these last few days, we’ve observed yet again nationwide protests sparked by continuous, senseless acts of oppression and violence, injustice and racism.  We join in anguish and mourning with the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and the many dozens of other victims of racist violence perpetrated both by police and by individual members of our society.  We grieve with—and as—Black people and people of color in this country who are fearful, frustrated and angry. All of us not only yearn for a better tomorrow—a tomorrow without violence, injustice and racism—we want it with all of our being. We wish it for each other, for ourselves, for our friends and neighbors, and for our sons and daughters and their futures.  

But wishing for change will not make it happen. In processing the events of this weekend, I’ve been heartened by the response of my young adult children and their friends across social media who in the midst of their own fear have peacefully protested or worked to encourage meaningful action.  My youngest son, a junior at the iSchool, channeled his frustration this weekend by purchasing his domain name and creating a website of resources on racial inequities and police violence against Black people to help us all better understand systemic racism and take meaningful action to address it. Here’s the link: Read. Watch. Act. That’s powerful. Change will only happen if all of us involve ourselves in making it.  

Although there is physical distance between us because of another dividing force affecting our nation—COVID-19, as a College of Law family we are together in our purpose—to learn and uphold the law, to pursue truth and justice, and to use the law to improve our society.  Above all, we are together in our unwavering belief that there is no room for racism or bigotry, ever, anywhere. Not at the College of Law, not in Syracuse, not in New York and not in our United States.  

I am thinking of all of you.  

In solidarity,

Craig M. Boise

Dean and Professor | College of Law

College of Law Externship Placements Continue Through Summer 2020

Posted on Tuesday 6/9/2020
College of Law

Like lawyers across the country, due to the COVID-19 public health crisis College of Law externs had to pivot toward remote workplaces for the latter half of the spring 2020 semester. Showing characteristic resilience and creativity in the face if adversity, and with expert help from faculty and workplace supervisors, they completed their placements remotely. Those in the Externship Program who are continuing their studies have taken on new assignments for summer 2020, either remotely or in person as their workplaces allow, in law firms, organizations, and businesses across Central New York and beyond.

Summer 2020 Placements

DCEx (Washington, DC)

  • The Chaklader Firm PC
  • Federal Aviation Administration, Office of the Chief Counsel, Employment and Labor Law Division
  • The Hon. J. Jeremiah Mahoney L’69, Chief Administrative Law Judge
  • Insured Retirement Institute
  • US Coast Guard Investigative Service
  • US Department of Housing & Urban Development, Office of Hearings & Appeals
  • US Department of the Interior, Office of Indian Gaming
  • US Department of Justice, Capital Case Section
  • US Department of Justice, US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia
  • US Patent and Trademark Office
  • The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
  • Office of Public Defender (Montgomery County, MD)


  • Fulton County State Court Self-Help Center

NYCEx (New York City)

  • Adam Leitman Bailey PC
  • Brooklyn Defender Services
  • Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP
  • Constellation Advisers LLC
  • Criscione Ravala LLP
  • NMIC Legal Organizing andAdvocacy
  • Suffolk County District Attorney

NYEx (Central New York)

  • City of Syracuse Office of the Corporation Counsel
  • Farmworkers Legal Assistance Clinic
  • Onondaga County Department of Law
  • SUNY Upstate Medical University
  • US Attorney's Office NDNY
  • Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County Inc.
  • Vera House

PhillyEx (Philadelphia, PA)

  • Wawa

The following alumni will offer externship seminars during the summer session: 

  • Kurt Wimmer L ’85
  • Mark Wladis L'89
  • David Goldstein L'91
  • Richard Furey L'94
  • Joseph DiScipio L’95
  • Keisha Audain Pressley L'00
  • Melanie Rodriguez L'00
  • Kim Wolf Price L'03
  • Anthony Marrone L'09
  • Lana Yaghi L’14
  • Cody Carbone L’16
  • Michael Varrige L'19
  • Elizabeth Zimmer L'19

Professor Todd Berger Publishes Investigative Criminal Procedure Casebook

Posted on Tuesday 6/9/2020
Investigative Criminal Procedure in Focus

Professor Todd Berger's new casebook—Investigative Criminal Procedure in Focus (Wolter Kluwer, 2020)—uses an innovative approach, with pedagogical features that not only help students to master complex legal concepts but that provide hands-on exercises that give them the tools they need to gain a thorough understanding of investigative criminal procedure.

Part I provides a general introduction to the world of criminal procedure, explaining the differences between substantive criminal law and criminal procedure, the differences between the investigative and adjudicative stages of the criminal justice process, and the sources of criminal procedure law. 

Part II includes the study of investigative criminal procedure, focusing on a specific aspect of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, interrogation law, and eyewitness identifications.

Throughout, selected cases, framed by introductory questions and post-case analysis, teach students key concepts. Additionally, hypotheticals—frequently based on real cases—provide opportunities for critical analysis and application of concepts covered in the chapters.

Finally, Berger's discussion of the Fourth Amendment analyzes what constitutes a Fourth Amendment search and seizure; who is covered; state action and standing requirements; probable cause and warrants; exceptions to the warrant requirement; and the exclusionary rule. 

Professor Roy Gutterman L'00: Counter UNC-Wilmington Professor's Offensive Comments, Don't Punish

Posted on Tuesday 6/9/2020
Roy Gutterman

University of North Carolina Wilmington calls professor's tweets 'vile and inexcusable' following growing backlash online

(CNN | June 7, 2020) A professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington has come under fire for tweets he posted which the school has called "vile and inexcusable," according to a statement the school provided to CNN Saturday.

At the center of this controversy is Mike Adams, a professor of criminology at the university, according to the school's website. On May 29, Adams tweeted, "This evening I ate pizza and drank beer with six guys at a six seat table top. I almost felt like a free man who was not living in the slave state of North Carolina. Massa Cooper, let my people go!"

Roy Cooper is North Carolina's Democratic governor ...

... Roy Gutterman, the director of the Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University's Newhouse School, said while Adams' comments may be offensive, they should be protected by the First Amendment.

The tweets appear to be unrelated to academic work and are simply personal opinions offensive to some people, which is not a crime, he said.

"The answer to this is not punishment, which would run afoul of the First Amendment because this involves a public university. The answer is to counter the speech and confront the speech. This could be the subject of campus-wide discussions," Gutterman said ...

Read the full article.

Peter Kellogg Bertine Obituary

Posted on Monday 6/8/2020
Peter Kellogg Bertine

Peter Kellogg Bertine, 83, devoted husband, father, grandfather, lawyer, athlete and advocate, passed away from heart complications on May 18, 2020 in Tucson, Arizona. Peter attended Kent School (’54), Williams College (’58), served three years of active duty in the U.S. Navy as an LTJG Officer and then matriculated at Syracuse University College of Law (’66) where he met and married Diane Bassett Bertine in 1965. 

Throughout his 35-year law career at Bertine, Hufnagel, Headley, Zeltner, Drummond and Dohn in Bronxville & Scarsdale, NY, he specialized in estate planning, taxation, family, business and real estate law. His deep love of the Adirondack Mountains and conversation led to a 1998 Supreme Court victory that protected specific non-navigable rivers for preservation in Upstate New York. The landowners and wildlife clapped enthusiastically.

In 2001, Peter retired from law and earned a financial planning degree from Pace University, establishing Kellogg Consulting, LLC to “problem solve and provide advice to people seeking help and guidance” on financial matters, family trusts and compassionate caregiving to elderly clients during their final phase of life. Empathy, generosity and kindness were cornerstones of his character." 

With Help from the Innovation Law Center, Off-Roaders Blue-Sky an Environmentally Friendly ATV

Posted on Monday 6/8/2020
Innovation Law Center

By Julia Scaglione ’20

Environmental sustainability is a hot topic. From waste reduction to minimizing carbon footprints, keeping the planet clean and green is a shared responsibility requiring deep innovation in every sector of the economy, and especially transportation. One company taking steps to address sustainability in transportation’s $3.9 billion all-terrain vehicle (ATV) market comes from New York State’s own Grand Island, situated between Buffalo and Niagara Falls: DVIN Industries.

The DVIN founders are no strangers to alternative vehicles. Specializing in all things land and water, the company is innovating an amphibious, electric ATV that can traverse any surface. Michael McManaman and Alexander Dzadur have a background in ATVing and sailing, respectively, as well as in owning businesses, tinkering, and living and playing on Grand Island. This combination brought the two together over a common issue.

“Every islander is aware that only a few bridges connect us to the mainland,” explain the McManaman and Dzadur, noting the significance of amphibious vehicles to island residents. “One day we thought of electrifying the ATV market and making a step forward with an an amphibious, electric all-terrain vehicle. Whiteboards and scrap paper tell the rest of the story.”

After a process of envisioning, sketching, and problem-solving, DVIN was born and with it an unprecedented amphibious vehicle that is designed with the enjoyment of driving in mind, as well as environmental conscientiousness. As the vehicle approaches the market, McManaman and Dzadur say there’s nothing quite like it out there—and that’s exactly its point.

“A change in the way we transport ourselves is coming,” say McManaman and Dzadur. “It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when.” And DVIN working to put that “when” on the calendar.

The company operates not only to innovate the ATV market, but to minimize harm to the environment. Its founders recognize that the current pollution from ATVs and other amphibious vehicles is not being addressed, and that drives the them on their DVIN journey. “What are we leaving for our children? For the next generation?” McManaman and Dzadur ask, hoping that their vehicles will be pathfinders toward a healthier planet. 

Currently, McManaman and Dzadur are the sole employees of DVIN—the two operate and run the company themselves, learning what they need to and gaining new skills along the way. The company, which formed a little over a year ago, is currently focused on legal matters, design refinements, scoping metal suppliers, and otherwise building the company. 

In spring 2020, DVIN had the opportunity to work with the Syracuse University College of Law’s Innovation Law Center (ILC)—and the New York State Science and Technology Law Center, which is housed in ILC—to provide research on patents and products, as well as Environmental Protection Agency, US Department of Transportation, and Department of Motor Vehicles regulations relevant to the vehicle. 

“We are absolutely in awe of the quality of work done by students and faculty at the Innovation Law Center,” say McManaman and Dzadur. “The scope and depth of its research gave us a new business perspective and a better understanding of patents.”

When asked about the students’ work, McManaman and Dzadur laugh. “Students? They might be students, but as competent as fully fledged professionals! The transparency of the process was wonderful. We are grateful for all their hard work and patience.”

The future looks bright for DVIN. The product has virtually no competition, as no one else is producing an electric, solar-powered, amphibious all-terrain vehicle like theirs. Yet they will continue to dial in on product innovation, brand recognition, quality, and manufacturing costs because the founders know at some point their market segment will attract competition.

With the ILC’s findings under their belt, McManaman and Dzadur plan on finalizing the technical design, prototyping, and filing utility patents. 

At the end of the day, McManaman and Dzadur say their work to minimize amphibious ATV damage to the planet is exactly the kind of innovation the world needs. “Don’t be afraid of disruption—be one,” they say, and with the DVIN vehicle on the horizon, disrupt is exactly what they will do. 

Innovation Law Center students and faculty presented their intellectual property, market, and regulatory research to the DVIN team via Zoom in April 2020.
Innovation Law Center students and faculty presented their intellectual property, market, and regulatory research to the DVIN team via Zoom in April 2020.

Professor Nina Kohn: Come Fall, Universities Must Expand Vision

Posted on Monday 6/8/2020
Nina Kohn

(Albany Times-Union | June 6, 2020) Universities and colleges across the country plan to offer fall semester classes online to accommodate students unwilling or unable to come to campus. Some have even decided to conduct all fall classes online.

Unfortunately, when universities moved classes online this spring in response to the novel coronavirus, education suffered. Faculty were confused about how to teach online, many classes had little interactivity and students were dissatisfied.

In addition, schools canceled most extracurricular events and activities, frustrating students and encouraging a tidal wave of petitions and lawsuits demanding refunds of spring tuition and fees.

If universities want students to accept online education as a substitute for on-campus learning, they must do better come fall. This will require investing in teaching-oriented training for faculty. During spring semester, universities typically provided faculty with training and support to help them navigate learning management systems and videoconferencing software. Now they must train faculty not simply how to teach online, but to teach well online ... 

Read the full article

Summer DCEx Seminar Series Kicks Off with a Virtual Meeting with Cody Carbone L’16

Posted on Friday 6/5/2020
Cody Carbone L'16

Guest lecturer Cody Carbone L’16 spoke with the Summer 2020 DCEx participants over Zoom for their first seminar of the semester. Carbone is one of four in-house lobbyists for Ernst and Young (EY) in Washington, DC.

Carbone graduated from Syracuse with a J.D. and master’s in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Shortly after graduating, he moved to the capital, where he took a job with EY, a professional services firm. 

Carbone explained to the externship students that when he first went to law school he wanted to work in national security law but learned after spending his first-year summer in Israel that the field was not for him. In his second year, he decided to change his career path, realizing that he always loved public policy. Carbone externed at EY during his 2L summer through the DCex program, and they made him a permanent offer. 

Using the 2016 presidential election as an example, Carbone explained that his job is made harder due to the unpredictability of elections. He pointed out that a firm like EY must have good relationships with both Democratic and Republican members of Congress and their staffs. He explained that his law degree has helped him in his career immensely as he can read and write legislation much more effectively and write better than most non-lawyer lobbyists. 

Carbone also noted that building relationships with regulatory agencies is different than working with Congress. He said that the majority of his agency work is with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Carbone added that his favorite part of his job is helping to write bills that that get signed into law. 

Disability Rights Clinic Successfully Petitions NYS Human Rights Division for Student Attorney Representation

Posted on Friday 6/5/2020
Connor Haken L'20 and Philip M. Lee L'20

The Syracuse University College of Law’s Disability Rights Clinic (DRC) has successfully petitioned the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) to allow student attorneys, practicing under the guidance of a licensed lawyer, to represent clients in a public hearing.

DRC filed a complaint in 2019 with the DHR on behalf of a client with a disability. A factual investigation by DHR, which also involved DRC students, determined there was probable cause for a public hearing on the complaint. 

However, when the DRC notified the administrative law judge that a team of law students from the Clinic would be presenting the case at the public hearing, the Clinic was informed that would not be allowed. No reason was given.

Spearheaded by students Connor Haken L’20 and Philip M. Lee L’20, the DRC wrote a letter to the Commissioner of the DHR to raise this issue and to plead for a change in the rules that would allow law students operating under the supervision of a licensed attorney to present a case on behalf of a client.

In 2020, a year after submitting the letter—and after a dedicated outreach campaign to the Commissioner—the DRC was successful in getting the division to change its rule, permitting supervised law students to represent clients in proceedings. 

“We are not sure how rare it is for an administrative law judge to not allow student attorneys to represent their clients,” says Professor Michael Schwartz, Director of the Disability Rights Clinic. “But a check of state courts, including the Appellate Divisions of New York’s State Supreme Court, and the federal courts, including the New York District Courts and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, disclosed that these judicial authorities allow students to appear under the supervision of licensed attorneys. We believe this argument won the day.” 

“Working in the Clinic provides unique opportunities to learn lawyering skills and how to properly advocate for our clients. This fascinating situation meant we also learned how to navigate bureaucracy and advocate for change in the New York State legal system,” says Haken “This is an important administrative rule change. Under supervision, College of Law students provide critical legal services for those we represent. Going in front of a judge and arguing on behalf of a client is an invaluable experience for students.” 

Professor William C. Banks Comments on the Insurrection Act in Christian Science Monitor

Posted on Friday 6/5/2020
William C. Banks

As nation reels, Trump’s focus is strength, not unity

(Christian Science Monitor | June 3, 2020) William Banks, a professor emeritus of law at Syracuse University, says Mr. Trump has the right to invoke the law, but notes that it was envisioned for a much larger threat than what we’re seeing now. 

“You want to come to the aid of the states when states can’t take care of themselves,” he says. 

By threatening to invoke the act, Mr. Trump is trying not to appear weak during a domestic crisis, says Professor Banks. But at the same time, he adds, past uses of the law have been unpopular, and governors in crisis-ridden states today might welcome having Mr. Trump seize the spotlight – and take on any blame. 

Read the full article

Professor William C. Banks Publishes Seventh Edition of National Security Law

Posted on Thursday 6/4/2020
National Security Law

The field's leading casebook, National Security Law, has been published in its seventh edition by the Aspen Casebook Series.

Edited by Professor Emeritus William C. Banks, in collaboration with Stephen Dycus, Peter Raven-Hansen, and Stephen I. Vladeck, for the last 30 years, National Security Law has helped create and shape an entire new field of law. It has been adopted for classroom use at most American law schools, all of the military academies, and many non-law graduate programs. 

Relying heavily on original materials and provocative notes and questions, this book encourages students to play the roles of national security professionals, politicians, judges, and ordinary citizens. By showing the development of doctrine in historical context, it urges them to see their responsibility as lawyers to help keep us safe and free.

Like earlier editions, the new book deals with basic separation-of-powers principles, the interaction of US and international law, the use of military force, intelligence, detention, criminal prosecution, homeland security, and national security information.

New to the Seventh Edition:

  • Latest developments on US military involvement in Syria and Iran
  • President Trump’s Border Wall and appropriations power
  • Carpenter v. US and recent FISA developments and FISC decisions
  • President Trump's travel ban
  • “Defending forward” in cyberspace
  • A new chapter on nuclear war

Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 Comments on Recent Attacks on Journalists

Posted on Thursday 6/4/2020
Roy Gutterman

With journalists, photographers, camera crews, and other media professionals being arrested and even seriously injured by police while documenting civil unrest in the wake of the death of George Floyd, Roy Gutterman L'00—Director of the Tully Center for Free Speech and Professor of Law—was interviewed by The Canadian Press and The Washington Post

Press pass, camera no longer providing journalists protection during conflicts in U.S. 

(The Canadian Press | June 3, 2020)

“It’s one thing for reporters to get sort of caught in the crossfire, which happens to reporters in hot zones all the time,” said Roy Gutterman, a journalism professor and director of the Tully Center for Free Speech at New York’s Syracuse University.

On Monday night in Syracuse, a veteran photographer reported being shoved to the ground by an officer who went out of his way to confront him even though he was nowhere near the formation, Gutterman said.

“I think there’s been a little bit of a subtle indifference to avoiding shooting into crowds, or just avoiding sending the tear gas or the rubber bullets near where the reporters are huddled.”

CNN reporter and crew arrested live on air while covering Minneapolis protest 

(The Washington Post | May 29, 2020)

“Newsgathering on public streets and documenting police and protesters serve an important function of the first amendment," said Tully Center for Free Speech Director Roy Gutterman. "Unfortunately, arresting a TV reporter in the aftermath of a riot or protest is nothing new, but is certainly another unnecessary development in an already sad and disturbing situation.”

Lundborg named in Rising Stars

Posted on Wednesday 6/3/2020
Pamela Lundborg

Pamela Lundborg has been recognized as a 2020 Florida Super Lawyers Rising Stars in the field of Business / Coporate. 

College of Law Researchers Awarded CUSE Grants for Projects on Military Veterans, Elder Care

Posted on Wednesday 6/3/2020
College of Law

Syracuse University College of Law researchers have been awarded two Syracuse University Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) grants. One grant funds interdisciplinary and cross-cultural engagement surrounding the March 2021 sitting at Dineen Hall of the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). The second grant is for an empirical assessment of whether Americans believe family caregivers of older adults should be paid.

Executive Director of the Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic Beth Kubala leads the first project: "It builds around CAVC’s planned visit to Syracuse on March 25, 2021, and it creates an opportunity for increased engagement across both campus and the community in the area of veterans benefits."

Kubala explains that CAVC is a unique federal court that hears appeals of veteran benefits claims. The court will hold oral arguments in Dineen Hall's Melanie Gray Courtroom. Kubala says she will use the grant funding “to create a University and community-wide event to elevate the interdisciplinary and cross-cultural knowledge of benefits challenges facing our nation’s veterans as they navigate the complex disability compensation process."

Professors Nina Kohn and Doron Dorfman are principal investigators for the second project. Their study will explore whether Americans believe family caregivers of older adults should be paid and would expect payment for care, and whether demographic characteristics such as caregiver race and gender affect these perceptions. 

The project builds on a study that Kohn published in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review that found that the law increasingly treats caregiving of older adults as non-economic, and that administrative law judges are more likely to treat family care provided to older adults as non-economic where the caregiver is male. Kohn explains that the new study “is designed to help inform policymakers seeking to encourage family care for older adults and regulations governing eligibility for Medicaid."

Kohn further explains that the study aims, first, to determine whether the assumptions that state Medicaid programs make about sums transferred to caregivers are accurate, a determination that would inform states as they refine their Medicaid regulatory approaches.

Second, to the extent that the study shows gender or race bias, it has the potential to expose these biases and thereby provide an opportunity for de-biasing interventions. Finally, the study aims to provide insight into the extent to which policymakers seeking to incentivize elder care should focus on payment to family caregivers and the amount of such payments.

Adam Leydig L’20 Finishes 5th at the Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition

Posted on Wednesday 6/3/2020
Tyler Jeffries and Adam Leydig

Adam Leydig L’20, along with second chair rising 3L Tyler Jeffries, placed fifth at the annual invitation-only Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition, held online from May 27 to 31, 2020. Coached by Joanne Van Dyke L’87, Leydig won three of the four preliminary rounds, resulting in a tie for fourth. However, Leydig failed to advance on a tie-breaker.

Hosted by Baylor Law, Top Gun brings the best advocates from the 16 top trial advocacy schools across the nation together to compete before a host of accomplished and distinguished judges and trial lawyers. The competitors are given only 24 hours to prepare for a detailed and challenging case. In this regard, Top Gun is a uniquely challenging mock trial competition. While the competition is typically held in person, due to the COVID-19 health crisis this year Top Gun billed itself as the nation's first "live virtual" mock trial competition.  

“The College of Law has sent competitors to Top Gun in four of the past five years,” says Professor Todd Berger, Director of Advocacy Programs. “It is an honor for the College to be among the best advocacy programs in the nation, and this speaks to our students’ dedication and passion to become outstanding courtroom advocates. I, along with the College of Law community, congratulate Adam and Tyler for their significant accomplishment in a unique, tough competition held in an online environment for the first time.”

Sohl joins Murray Guari as an Associate

Posted on Wednesday 6/3/2020

Murray Guari Trial Attorneys is pleased to announce that Rudolph Wm. Sohl has joined their West Palm Beach based personal injury and wrongful death law firm as an Associate Attorney. He will continue to handle personal injury cases at his NY law firm as well. 

Professor William C. Banks Discusses Use of Troops on Home Soil in WaPo, Military.com

Posted on Wednesday 6/3/2020
William C. Banks

Trump wants to crush Black Lives Matter with a law that fought segregation

(The Washington Post | June 2, 2020) Not satisfied by tear gas, rubber bullets and threats to use “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” against citizens protesting racism and police violence, President Trump threatened Monday night to send the U.S. military into any cities where local officials fail to control crowds of unruly protesters. His secretary of defense, Mark T. Esper, obligingly chimed in on the need for troops to “dominate the battlespace” in American cities.

Trump appears to be planning to invoke the Insurrection Act, which would turn his administration’s dystopian fantasy of urban combat against U.S. citizens into a reality ...

... In 1957, when nine black students attempted to enter an all-white school in Little Rock pursuant to a federal court order, then-Gov. Orville Faubus sent troops from the Arkansas National Guard to block them. 

With state troops under the command of a governor openly defying an order of the federal courts, writes legal historian William Banks, President Dwight D. Eisenhower scribbled his thoughts in a handwritten note: Standing by “in the face of organized or locally undeterred opposition by violence” would, he feared, cause “the entire court system [to] disintegrate” and lead to “the destruction of our form of gov’t.” 

Reluctantly, he invoked the Insurrection Act the next day, and soldiers from the Army’s 101st Airborne Division formed a protective cordon to allow the nine black students to walk safely to class ...

Read the full article.

Here's What You Need to Know About The Pentagon's Riot Response and Martial Law

(Military.com | June 2, 2020) The Pentagon has ordered a small contingent of active-duty soldiers to alert status, on standby to join thousands of National Guard troops to help police quell civil unrest amid protest demonstrations across America. But the unprecedented situation is still a long way from martial law, legal experts say ...

... Martial law is an "extraordinary state of being, and it basically means the government isn't in control at all; there is no law. Martial law is the power of a commander," Banks said.

"The last time the law was declared in the United states was in Hawaii during World War II," he said, describing the military's response after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which resulted in Japanese Americans being put in internment camps.

In fact, Banks said, there is no longer a "publicly known procedure" for the enactment of martial law.

"Years ago, there were some regulations within the [Defense Department] that spoke to the possibility of martial law, but they have been taken off the books," he said. "We can't see them, so we don't even know if they exist anymore" ...

Read the full article.

Summer Services for Law Students

Posted on Monday 6/1/2020

Dear Students,

I hope this note finds you well and eager to continue your studies at the College of Law, and I write to make sure you know how the Law Library will continue to support your coursework and research over the summer. Whether you are taking classes, are in an internship or externship, or are in a summer job, please continue to utilize our resources; Librarians and staff are available to help you. Here is how to access library services, including access to the entire Law Library collection.

The primary contact point for the Law Library is by email to reference@law.syr.edu or by phone to 315-443-9572.  While most of us are working remotely, our goal is toprovide the library services you’re used to in as seamless a manner as possible. 

Reference Services are on summer hours:
Monday-Thursday:  9 am – 7 pm
Friday:  9 am – 5 pm
Sunday:  9 am – 5 pm

If we receive your call or email us during these times, you will hear from usright away.  Off hours, you can email reference@law.syr.edu or leave a voicemail at 315-443-9572 and your question will be answered during our next Reference hours.  We are also happy to arrange a Zoom Reference consultation with you. We look forward to seeing you!

Reference Services will be closed over two holiday weekends: 
Memorial Day Weekend, Sunday - Monday, May 24 - 25
Independence Day Weekend, Friday & Sunday, July 3 & 5

Summer Legal Research Refresher

Please join us on Thursday, June 11, 9:30 – 11:30 am EDT for a summer Legal Research Refresher!  Reference Librarians will provide a review of research in Administrative Law, research using Secondary Sources, and how to compile a Legislative History.  To register, email reference@law.syr.edu.  We will send you a Zoom link and password a few days before the event.  If you can’t make the live Zoom session, watch for a link to the recorded session on the Law Library website

Electronic Research Databases

The Law Library subscribes to a wide range of databases in addition to Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg.  Our most popular databases are available on the drop-down menu under Law Databases on the Law Library website.  Take advantage of our Research Guides for recommendations on the best sources on broad topical areas of law.  For a complete list of databases organized by category, see the Law  Databases Page.  To search databases available through other SULibraries, search Summon or browse the database list at Databases A-Z.   If you need a new registration key for Lexis, Westlaw, or Bloomberg Law, email reference@law.syr.edu, and we will send one to you, along with registration instructions. 

Electronic Study Aids

If you are taking classes this summer, don’t forget to take advantage of the Law Library’s extensive collection of online study aids.

Wolters Kluwer Study Aids

The Wolters Kluwer Online Study Aids library includes every title in the popular series Examples & Explanations.  You will find the link to Wolters Kluwer Study Aids on the drop-down list of databases on the Law Librarywebsite, http://www.law.syr.edu/law-library/.  For details about creating your own account and help getting started, see our news item on the Law Library website or email reference@law.syr.edu.

West Academic Study Aids

To access West Academic Study Aids use the Law Databases drop-down menu on the Law Library website.  From there you will be able to search the collection and read the full text of
each title.  To make the best use of West Academic Study Aids, customize your experience by going to the top right corner of the screen and click on the link “Create an Account.”  When you create your individual account you can annotate, highlight, and print sections of materials.


CALI offers hundreds of online tutorials covering 30 different Law School topics. These lessons can be extremely helpful when reviewing course materials in preparation for class, finals, or just to get a handle on an area of law. You will need to register on the CALI site in order to use the tutorials. If you do not yet have a CALI account, you can create one by going to https://www.cali.org/ and hitting the “Register” link in the top right of the screen. Contact the reference desk if you do not have the authorization code needed to create an account.

Lexis Courtroom Cast

LexisNexis Courtroom Cast has audio files of cases, organized by casebook.  While this is not a substitute for reading your casebook, it is a great way to supplement it.  To register the first time you use Courtroom Cast, open the “Login & Register” link in the top right of the screen, then choose the “Sign Up” button on the next screen.  Choose Syracuse University College of Law and fill out the rest of the registration form.


Borrowing Books 

If you want to check out a book from the print collection, email circ@law.syr.edu with the book’s title and call number from the Library Catalog.  Library staff will retrieve the book and ship it to you via UPS, with a UPS shipping label for return shipping to us.   

Scan and Send

We are able to provide scanned copies of print materials on a limited basis. Details will vary based on the length of the requested item, so send scan requests to reference@law.syr.edu

Renewing Books

Please use the self-renewal feature built in to the library catalog at https://catalog.syr.edu/vwebv/login.  We will not charge overdue fines this summer, but it’s important to renew your
books so that they don’t show up as “Lost” in the library catalog. 

Returning Books

If you have books checked out, please watch for an email from the Law Library about how to return them.  If you have books checked out from Bird Library or if you haven’t heard from us yet, please email circ@law.syr.edu and we will send you a UPS shipping label so you can send the books you no longer need back to us. 

Your Feedback

Your feedback is important to us.  Please send it to me at jflecken@law.syr.edu and be sure to include your impressions, your ideas, your questions, your concerns, and your suggestions.

I know that all of us have undergone tremendous changes over the past couple of months, but your College of Law Librarians and staff are here to help you succeed with whatever you undertake to accomplish this summer.  We hope to see you remotely often.  Be sure to ask us for whatever you need, and we will work with you to figure out how to help you! 

Best wishes from all of us at the Law Library.  Please take care. 

Jan Fleckenstein, M.L.S., MS/IRM, JD

Associate Teaching Professor of Law
Director of the Law Library
Syracuse University College of Law

Professor Mark Nevitt: The President, the Military, and Minneapolis—What You Need to Know

Posted on Saturday 5/30/2020
Mark P. Nevitt

(Just Security | May 29, 2020) In the aftermath of the tragic killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, riots and unrest have been spreading throughout the city of Minneapolis and the country. The Minnesota National Guard has been activated by Minnesota Governor Timothy Walz. These Minnesota National Guard members report to the governor and can actively take part in law enforcement functions, which they are doing.

But now, President Donald Trump is involved too.

The president tweeted Thursday night that he

can’t stand back & watch this [the riots] happen to a great city, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the city under control, or I will send in the National Guard and get the job done right.

Further, Trump stated that he “just spoke to Governor Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficult and we will assume control but, when the looting starts the shooting starts . . . ”

Beyond their deeply troubling moral messaging, there are two key legal issues associated with these remarkable tweets (outside of Trump’s showdown with Twitter, which placed a warning on the tweet, saying it glorified violence):
Can Trump Use the Military to Respond to Minneapolis? 

  • Under what conditions can the president order the military to respond to Minneapolis?
  • What are the military’s rules for the use of force—i.e. does looting justify shooting?

Yes, but this is subject to certain, critical legal restrictions under both the Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act. The president is, of course, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, but he lacks the authority to use the military in any manner that he pleases. That authority is constrained by Congress and the courts.

Under the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, Congress has limited the president’s ability to use the federal (title 10) military in domestic law enforcement operations such as searches, seizures, and arrests. A criminal statute, the Posse Comitatus Act makes it unlawful for the Army or Air Force to “execute the laws . . . except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress.” So, the president cannot simply call in federal military forces or nationalize the Minnesota National Guard to quell the civil disturbance in Minneapolis without pointing to a Posse Comitatus Act exception …

Read the full article

Professor Roy Gutterman L'00: Trump, Twitter, & the Distraction of Censorship

Posted on Friday 5/29/2020
Roy Gutterman

(syracuse.com | May 29, 2020) The day after the country broke the mark of 100,000 dead of Covid-19, unemployment reached 40 million and a major midwestern city burned after riots following another racial police brutality death, President Donald Trump signed an executive order attacking social media.

Thanks for the distraction. By ordering the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorney General to regulate and monitor social media, essentially for content critical of the president, the order ignores legal precedent, existing federal laws and standard government practices with regard to independent media.

This will surely be tested in the courts, which hopefully will look to First Amendment precedent for guidance.

This action not only seems to contradict the administration’s own policy on net neutrality, but seeks to upend 25 years of precedent under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), which has become a strong backbone of protecting speech on the internet and protecting those platforms.

The latest backlash came after Twitter announced it would fact-check and label the president’s tweets when they include glaring inaccuracies, such as unsubstantiated accusations and outright false statements ...

Read the full article.

Professor Dorfman's Research on COVID-19 & the FDA Blood Ban Featured in Wake Forest Law Symposium

Posted on Thursday 5/28/2020
Doron Dorfman

Featured in Wake Forest Law's 2020 Isolated by the Law online symposium, Professor Doron Dorfman discusses intersections between COVID-19 interstate travel restrictions and FDA blood donor policies. This lecture draws on research for an article to be published in  the Journal of Law & the Biosciences. 

Enacted in response to the 1980s HIV/AIDS epidemic, the FDA blood donation ban for gay and bisexual men has remained controversial. Scholars have criticized this policy as unconstitutional and out-of-step with best public health practices. 

On April 2, the FDA issued new recommendations, permitting expanded donations from men who have sex with men. Professor Dorfman draws on parallels between the interstate and blood donation response policies, demonstrating how the public may empathize and eventually mobilize to challenge the FDA’s blood donation ban.

Watch the lecture.

Professor Andrew Kim's Study of Undocumented Immigration, Stigma, and Exceptionalism Published by GW Law Review

Posted on Thursday 5/28/2020
Andrew Kim
"Penalizing Presence." George Washington Law Review 88 (2020). 

“Illegals.” “Rapists.” “Criminals.” “Aliens.” “Animals.” These labels have defined what it means to be an undocumented immigrant in the United States today. 

Undocumented status as stigma is an overdetermining identity trait that overwrites other identity dimensions and has become entrenched in both legal and cultural norms. Officials at the highest levels of all three branches of the US government continue to employ metaphoric language that conflates undocumented immigrants with illegality, criminality, and extraterritoriality. More recently, the Trump Administration has weaponized such labels to support and normalize shifts in immigration policies.

How did we get here? One answer lies in the current statutory framework that enables this false narrative. 

The Immigration and Nationality Act penalizes unlawful presence as a deportable offense and potentially bans certain unlawfully present immigrants from reentering the country for three years to permanently. While the law should penalize unlawful acts, such as the surreptitious entry or the visa overstay that produces the unlawful presence, penalizing presence does not punish conduct, but rather the person’s state of being. 

Professor Andrew Kim's article prioritizes this under-examined aspect of US immigration law and uncovers its consequences not only for the lives of immigrants, but also for the law. 

This article frames an argument for statutory reform by showing the identity and legal harms stemming from penalizing presence. It argues that this statutory choice stigmatizes and subordinates millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States. It also contends that the harms of penalizing presence extend beyond the person to the law. It shows how penalizing presence has stymied legal efforts to integrate into society the undocumented immigrant population in the United States by incentivizing their further evasion of the law and by thwarting opportunities for imposing a reasonable statute of limitations on deportations. 

In exposing immigration law’s errant departure from established legal norms, Kim moves in a novel direction continuing scholarly discourse on immigration law’s exceptionalism.

Burton Blatt Institute, UK University Begin Study of Inclusive Public Spaces and Accessibility of Streets

Posted on Thursday 5/28/2020
Burton Blatt Institute

The Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University has begun a collaboration with the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom focusing on groundbreaking research into the accessibility of public spaces and the social justice problems resulting from an exclusionary infrastructure.

The Inclusive Public Space project is a global interdisciplinary research effort that explores the social justice problems caused by city streets that limit access for some pedestrians. The project focuses specifically on pedestrians with disabilities who may have difficulties using the pedestrian paths because of the way streets are designed, managed, or maintained. Poor maintenance, uneven surfaces, potholes, poor lighting, and other streetscape structures also create barriers.

The project is led by principal investigator Professor Anna Lawson from the University of Leeds. Peter Blanck, University Professor and BBI chairman, and Barry Whaley, project director of the Southeast ADA Center, are involved, along with colleagues from the University of Leeds and collaborators in the Netherlands, India, and Kenya.

The project has three objectives:

  • Understand, via interviews, how exclusion affects the lives of people with disabilities
  • Understand how law influences the inclusiveness of public spaces
  • Raise awareness of the impact of exclusionary spaces.

“The built environment is not always an inclusive place for people with disabilities,” Whaley says. “Our hope is to learn through law, policy and practice how to improve pedestrian inclusion in the public right of way.”

Learn more about the Inclusive Public Space Project.

The Guardian Quotes Professor Nina Kohn's Research on Nursing Home Immunity

Posted on Wednesday 5/27/2020
Nina Kohn

Andrew Cuomo Gave Immunity to Nursing Home Execs After Big Campaign Donations

(The Guardian | May 26, 2020) As Governor Andrew Cuomo faced a spirited challenge in his bid to win New York’s 2018 Democratic primary, his political apparatus got a last-minute boost: a powerful healthcare industry group suddenly poured more than $1m into a Democratic committee backing his campaign.

Less than two years after that flood of cash from the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), Cuomo signed legislation last month quietly shielding hospital and nursing home executives from the threat of lawsuits stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. The provision, inserted into an annual budget bill by Cuomo’s aides, created one of the nation’s most explicit immunity protections for healthcare industry officials, according to legal experts ...

... New York is now one of just two states to shield those corporate officials from both civil lawsuits and some forms of criminal prosecution by the government, according to an analysis by Syracuse University law professor Nina Kohn and the University of Houston’s Jessica L Roberts.

“New York is an outlier and has the most explicit and sweeping immunity language,” Kohn said ...

“We’ve had a longstanding problem holding nursing homes responsible, because if you look at government enforcement, it’s typically a slap on the wrist. A private lawsuit is often all you have left to hold a nursing home accountable,” said Syracuse University’s Kohn. “Granting immunity sends a terrible message for the future. The industry gets caught with its pants down during the crisis, and we’re now telling them they don’t have to wear pants.”

As they push to expand immunity laws across the country, the hospital and nursing home industries have continued to cast their campaign as a necessary defense of medical workers.

“As our care providers make these difficult decisions, they need to know they will not be prosecuted or persecuted,” said an emblematic letter from industry groups pressing California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, to issue an executive order shielding them from legal liability.

And yet Kohn’s research shows that 16 out of the 19 states that created liability protections extended immunity to both individual workers and nursing home facilities as a whole ...

Read the full article

Professor Cora True-Frost L’01 Named Bond, Schoeneck & King Distinguished Professor

Posted on Wednesday 5/27/2020
Cora True-Frost

Associate Professor of Law Cora True-Frost L’01 has been named the Bond, Schoeneck & King Distinguished Professor for the academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. The professorship recognizes a faculty member who exhibits distinction in the areas of teaching and scholarship.

An interdisciplinary scholar of international humanitarian and human rights law, True-Frost’s research focuses on the development of international norms, with a particular focus on the role of international organizations and the United Nations Security Council. In addition to teaching International Law, Constitutional Law, Regulatory Law and Policy, International and European Human Rights Law, and a Seminar on International Human Rights at Syracuse University College of Law, True-Frost is the Faculty Director of The Journal of Global Rights and Organizations and Impunity Watch News.

True-Frost’s scholarship draws on her experience defending individuals accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes—including at the Special Court for Sierra Leone—as well as leading the Nongovernmental Organization Working Group on Women, Peace, and Security at United Nations headquarters. She is a co-editor and author of The First Global Prosecutor: Promise and Constraints (University of Michigan Press, 2015) with Harvard Law professors Martha Minow and Alex Whiting. Her writing addresses International Criminal Court prosecution, terrorism and human rights law, and international and domestic equality law.

“Professor True-Frost has conducted wide-ranging, important scholarship across the critical fields of international law, human rights, and disability law. She is also an exemplary teacher and mentor inside and outside the classroom,” says Dean Craig M. Boise. “We thank Bond, Schoeneck & King for their support of our faculty and for recognizing the impact Professor True-Frost’s scholarship is having on communities local, national, and global, as well as on our students looking to practice international law.” 

“Bond is exceptionally pleased with the choice of Cora True-Frost as the Bond, Schoeneck & King Distinguished Professor,” says Kevin Bernstein, Chair of the Management Committee at Bond. “Her professional career is exemplary, and the world of experience she brings to her teaching improves the caliber of our future lawyers.” 

In 2017, True-Frost received Syracuse University’s L. Douglas Meredith Teaching Recognition Award and, in 2018, the graduating LL.M. class awarded her the Lex Lucet Mundum award for her significant impact on master’s degree students. True-Frost is also an advisor to the College of Law’s Philip A. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition team, and she serves as Faculty Advisor to the National Women’s Law Student Association and the Syracuse University Program on Refugee Assistance. In 2015, she was appointed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be a member of the state Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.

As Bond, Schoeneck & King Distinguished Professor, True-Frost succeeds Professor Deborah Kenn, Associate Dean of Clinical and Experiential Education and Director of the Office of Clinical Legal Education.

About Bond, Schoeneck & King

Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC is a law firm with 250 lawyers serving individuals, companies and public sector entities in a broad range of practice areas. Bond has eight offices in New York State and offices in Boston, Kansas City, and Naples, Florida. bsk.com

Professor Nina Kohn in The Hill: Nursing Homes Need Increased Staffing, Not Legal Immunity

Posted on Tuesday 5/26/2020
Nina Kohn

Nursing Homes Need Increased Staffing, Not Legal Immunity

By Professor Nina Kohn, Syracuse University College of Law, & Professor Jessica Roberts, University of Houston

(The Hill | May 23, 2020) With nursing homes accounting for the majority of COVID-19 deaths in many states, the long-term care industry has joined with other health care providers to successfully lobby for protection from lawsuits. The result: Nineteen states have granted nursing homes new immunity from civil liability either by executive order or statute.  

All of these new measures shield health care providers — usually defined as both individuals and the institutions where they work — from liability for negligence. New Jersey and New York even protect against certain forms of criminal liability. Moreover, while some only prevent COVID-19 patients and their representatives from holding providers liable, others could foreclose almost all lawsuits against nursing homes during the COVID-19 disaster.  

The industry justifies these measures as essential to protect against liability that would threaten their operation. For example, the Florida Health Care Association, writing to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), argued that immunity was “necessary” so that facilities could provide care “without fear of reprisal” …

Read the full article

Syracuse.com Quotes Professor Doron Dorfman: Store Mask Policies Must Not Discriminate

Posted on Friday 5/22/2020
Doron Dorfman

Can store owners require you to wear a face mask to enter?

(syracuse.com | May 22, 2020) You might have seen the videos on social media: Shoppers who refuse to wear face masks confront the store manager, who patiently explains it’s store policy that all customers wear them.

But can store owners legally enforce that policy?

Yes, say legal and retail experts, as long as they don’t discriminate against anyone who can’t wear a mask because they’re disabled or against certain groups, called “protected classes" ...

... Dorfman said there may be legitimate disabilities that would prevent someone from wearing a mask: someone with autism who has sensory issues, for example, or someone with a respiratory problem for which a mask would make breathing difficult.

Under the ADA, he said, store managers must be cautious in questioning anyone who says they have a disability. The manager, for example, can’t ask what the disability is.

Shop keepers can ask two questions of that person, Dorfman said: “Is (not wearing a mask) an accommodation? What kind of benefit do you get from not wearing a mask?”

Asking those questions will help a store manager defend his or her actions if a person with a disability brings a suit for discrimination, Dorfman said ...

Read the full article.

Professor Doron Dorfman: Being Anti-Mask Doesn't Make You Disabled

Posted on Thursday 5/21/2020
Doron Dorfman

Being Anti-Mask Doesn't Make You Disabled

(Newsday | May 21, 2020) “If you’re not going to wear a mask, you take a paper that has the Americans for [sic] Disabilities Act on it, and no one is allowed to ask you why you cannot wear a mask. So you can say that you have a medical condition. And the medical condition might be that wearing a mask is strangling your sense of free speech...” --- Dr. Christiane Northrup

Dr. Christiane Northrup’s recent viral video that included those comments exposed a larger phenomenon: the blatant attempt to miscast disability law under the guise of protecting individual liberty.

And the cruel irony of this phenomenon? Anti-maskers are attempting to use disability law in ways that put disability communities at greater risk. Now that New York State has partially opened, these issues are more urgent than ever.

For six years, I’ve studied the fear of the disability con: the widespread moral panic that people fake disabilities to gain unfair advantage from extra time on exams to cutting lines in theme parks to obtaining a favorable parking spot.

While the 30-year-old Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has helped the disability rights movement increase awareness of disability, perception of disability in courtrooms and the public sphere remain largely stuck in the past. Fears of disability fraud date to 19th century Ugly Laws that prohibited “unsightly” disabled beggars from appearing in public for fear they might elicit sympathy or spare dimes. Although the ADA was intended to be transformative, pervasive assumptions about disability have proven more difficult to shake ...

Read the full article.

Professor Corri Zoli Discusses Islamic Law of Armed Conflict During Anethum Global Webinar

Posted on Tuesday 5/19/2020
Corri Zoli

Professor Corri Zoli presented her research into “How and Why Islamic Law Approaches Apply to Modern Conflicts in Postconflict Justice” during the webinar "Long Before Nuremberg: Islamic Law of Armed Conflict" on May 19, 2020.

Presented by Anethum Global, in cooperation with the International Bar Association's War Crimes Committee, the webinar provided an introductory discussion on centuries of Islamic law addressing armed conflict, including military targeting, prisoners of war, protection of civilians, reparations, and postconflict justice and reconstruction.

"There is a rich body of law, including postconflict justice, and it serves as a guide to developing conflict resolution and postconflict justice systems in the Muslim world," explained organizer and moderator Sara Elizabeth Dill, Partner, Anethum Global, and Arab Region Liaison Officer IBA War Crimes Committee. "As we look at modern situations in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya, we cannot ignore Islamic law or its provisions and teachings on the law of armed conflict. These can provide a useful tool for approaching conflict resolution in the region."

Discussing the historical context and specific laws contained within Islamic Law, as well as why these laws still apply today, along with Zoli were Ahmed Al-Dawoody, Legal Adviser for Islamic Law and Jurisprudence, International Committee of the Red Cross (“The Islamic Law of Armed Conflict and Differences to Western Interpretations”) and Asma Afsaruddin, Professor, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Indiana University (“War and Peace in Islam and in Everyday Life”). 

Baginski joins Foreign Service

Posted on Monday 5/18/2020
Daryl Baginski

Daryl Baginski joined the Foreign Service at Department of State as a Specialist in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

Google Antitrust Lawsuit: Professor Shubha Ghosh Speaks to Yahoo! Finance

Posted on Monday 5/18/2020
Shubha Ghosh

Google Antitrust Lawsuit: Professor Shubha Ghosh Speaks to Yahoo! Finance

(Yahoo! Finance | May 18, 2020) The Department of Justice is expected to file an antitrust lawsuit against Google for its digital advertising violations. Syracuse University College of Law Director Shubha Ghosh joins Yahoo Finance’s On The Move panel to discuss.

Watch the video.

Book Authority Lists Professor Malloy's Books Among the Best on Land Use

Posted on Monday 5/18/2020
Robin Paul Malloy

Two of Professor Robin Paul Malloy's books are listed among the "39 Best Land Use Law Books of All Time" by Book Authority, a leading site for non-fiction book recommendations that uses proprietary technology to identify and rate "the best books in the world, based on public mentions, recommendations, ratings, and sentiment."

#2: Land Use Law and Disability—Planning and Zoning for Accessible Communities (Cambridge, 2014)

In Land Use Law and Disability, Robin Paul Malloy argues that our communities need better planning to be safely and easily navigated by people with mobility impairment and to facilitate intergenerational aging in place. To achieve this, communities will need to think of mobility impairment and inclusive design as land use and planning issues, in addition to understanding them as matters of civil and constitutional rights.

#31: Land Use and Zoning Law—Planning for Accessible Communities (Carolina, 2018)

The first land use and zoning law casebook to comprehensively integrate issues of accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Land Use and Zoning Law systematically addresses the complexites of aging in place and of disability in the context of local land regulation. 

Read the full list.

Professor Kristen Barnes Presents on "Homelessness and Cities” at ABA Virtual Conference

Posted on Friday 5/15/2020
Kristen Barnes

Professor Kristen Barnes offered a talk on "Homelessness and Cities" at the ABA Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law Section's 32nd Annual RPTE CLE Conference, presented online on May 14-15, 2020.

"I discussed, two Ninth Circuit decisions Martin v. City of Boise (2019) and Jones v. City of Los Angeles (2006)," says Barnes. 

In connection with Jones, Barnes discussed the settlement agreement that Los Angeles entered into following the Court’s decision. In both cases, the Ninth Circuit held that cities may not hold individuals criminally liable for the act of sleeping outdoors on public property when there are no options available within city limits for individuals to sleep indoors. 

"To criminally prosecute individuals on this basis constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment," observes Barnes. "The United States Supreme Court declined to review the Martin decision."

In referencing both decisions, Barnes commented on the state of the homelessness crisis; how municipalities, particularly those that are experiencing exponential growth in their unhoused populations (e.g., California), are addressing the problem; constitutional limits on strategies cities can adopt; and some multi-pronged solutions involving public property that are desperately needed especially in wake of the pandemic.

Professor Nina Kohn in Time: Can Nursing Homes Offer Safe & Humane Care?

Posted on Friday 5/15/2020
Nina Kohn

"A License for Neglect:" Nursing Homes Are Seeking—and Winning —Immunity Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

(TIME | May 14, 2020) It was 11 p.m. on a Sunday in early May when Penny Shaw, a 76-year-old in Braintree, Massachusetts, picked up the phone and reported her nursing home to the local police. The staff on duty had just told her they couldn’t provide any of their usual care because they had no personal protection equipment (PPE). Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, the staff is supposed to wear PPE when helping all patients, but only the home’s administrator, who doesn’t work late on weekends, could give it out. So the certified nursing assistants wouldn’t be able to get masks, gloves or gowns until the morning.

Shaw was angry that her facility had put its staff, and her fellow residents, in that position, and so she called the cops. “They always make poor decisions and they continue to make poor decisions,” Shaw says. “I have to speak up for myself and other people" ...

... Barbara Duffy, a lawyer who defends nursing homes and sits on the legal committee of nursing home trade group AHCA, says that facilities are limited in what they can pay workers by the fact that they rely on Medicaid to pay the majority of patients’ bills. Advocates are skeptical of that defense. “If it’s true that they cannot provide safe care and humane care with the amount of money they’re being given to provide that care, then they need to go back to the government and say, ‘We can’t do this,’” says Nina Kohn, a law professor at Syracuse University and an expert on elder law. “Instead, what the industry does is it takes the money and it takes the residents and it doesn’t provide the care they need" ...

Read the full article.

Professor David Driesen Talks Comparative Executive Power on Ipse Dixit

Posted on Thursday 5/14/2020
David Driesen

David Driesen on Comparative Executive Power

(Ipse Dixit | May 13, 2020) In this episode, David M. Driesen, University Professor of Law at Syracuse University College of Law, discusses his article "The Unitary Executive Theory in Comparative Context," which will be published in the Hastings Law Journal. 

Driesen begins by explaining the unitary executive theory and why he doesn't think it is constitutionally required. He argues that expanding executive power is unwise and can lead to autocracy, pointing to Hungary, Poland, and Turkey as examples. And he explain why we should be wary of arguments from unitary executive theorists that the President should have more authority to remove officials, among other things.

Listen to the podcast.

Professor Nina Kohn in Chicago Tribune: "Nursing Homes Were Infection Tinderboxes”

Posted on Thursday 5/14/2020
Nina Kohn

Short Staffing. PPE Shortages. Few Inspections. Why Calls Are Growing for Illinois Nursing Home Regulators to Step Up Efforts on COVID-19.

(Chicago Tribune | May 13, 2020) Early in April, a nurse working at a massive Cicero nursing home was worried that lax infection control was putting residents in danger of catching the coronavirus.

According to an affidavit filed in Cook County Circuit Court, the nurse called the Illinois Department of Public Health — the state agency that regulates nursing homes — but nobody picked up the phone. Concerned Cicero officials said they called too, and got no response.

The state didn’t send inspectors to City View Multi-Care Center until nearly a month later. That was after Cicero filed a lawsuit against City View and the state, accusing regulators of “woefully lacking” oversight, and Circuit Court Judge Alison Conlon pushed regulators to check into conditions at the home. By then, more than half of residents had become infected, killing nine of them as well as one employee.

Two months into the pandemic, the case of City View highlights increasing complaints from the nursing home industry ...

... “I think there are many very good people working in the long-term care industry who care deeply about residents and their well-being,” said Syracuse University law professor Nina Kohn, who’s studied elder rights. “That said, it was an open secret that nursing homes were infection tinderboxes” ...

Read the full article.

Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 in WaPo: Was Trump's "Ask China" Response Calculated?

Posted on Wednesday 5/13/2020
Roy Gutterman

Trump’s ‘Ask China’ Response to CBS’s Weijia Jiang Shocked the Room—and Was Part of a Pattern

(The Washington Post | May 12, 2020) President Trump has a long history of using the bully pulpit to take jabs at reporters. Yet the pandemic-era briefings have become especially fraught — and an unusually barbed exchange with one journalist on Monday raised questions about whether he reserves special contempt for some.

At a Rose Garden press briefing, CBS News correspondent Weijia Jiang asked the president why he so frequently claims that the United States is doing “far better than any other country” at testing for coronavirus. “Why does that matter?” she asked. “Why is this a global competition to you if every day Americans are still losing their lives?”

Trump started by deflecting — “they’re losing their lives everywhere in the world” — before pivoting suddenly: “They’re losing their lives everywhere in the world, and maybe that’s a question you should ask China. Don’t ask me, ask China that question, okay?” ...

... Roy Gutterman, director of Syracuse University’s Tully Center for Free Speech, called Monday’s outburst “another attack on the press, likely calculated to demean the press, divert attention and change the day’s narrative,” but added: “There was probably some dog-whistling in his tirade, too.”

Read the full article.

In His New Book, Professor Robin Malloy Examines Disability Law for Property, Land Use, and Zoning

Posted on Tuesday 5/12/2020
Disability Law for Property, Land Use, and Zoning Lawyers
Disability Law for Property, Land Use, and Zoning Lawyers (ABA State and Local Book Series, 2020).

In Disability Law for Property, Land Use, and Zoning Lawyers (ABA, 2020), Professor Robin Paul Malloy—E.I. White Chair and Distinguished Professor of Law and a Kauffman Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation—explains how to navigate one of the fastest growing areas of concern for local governments: the intersection of disability law with land development, planning, and regulation.

This is an area of law that is both complex and confusing. Malloy simplifies the task of learning disability law by sorting through and organizing numerous provisions of our federal disability laws and explaining how these provisions relate to everyday practice and decision-making.

Importantly, Malloy focuses on clearing up the confusion that is often associated with thinking that disability law is really just about designing doorways, bathrooms, and office space. While design issues are important to accessibility, there are many legal issues involved with knowing when certain elements of the law are applicable to a situation and in knowing what needs to be done to avoid claims of discrimination. Failure to comply with these requirements can be costly and can result in years of litigation.

Disability Law for Property, Land Use, and Zoning Lawyers includes:

  • Straightforward discussion of relevant provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Fair Housing Act (FHA), the Rehabilitation Act (RHA), and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA).
  • Clear explanation of terms and concepts under the ADA, FHA, RHA, and ABA.
  • Analysis of all three methods of proving discrimination for failure to comply with disability laws.
  • Discussion of potential defenses to complaints regarding lack of accessibility: not every request for greater accessibility has to be met and certain criteria apply.
  • Numerous examples and illustrations that enhance understanding of rules and regulations.

Professor Blanck Outlines EEOC Protections for Workers the During COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted on Tuesday 5/12/2020
Peter Blanck

Going Back to Work While COVID-19 Is Still Spreading

(Consumer Reports | May 8, 2020) Many people in the US—including doctors, nurses, bus drivers, and grocery clerks—have not stopped working throughout the coronavirus pandemic. But among the millions of others who have been furloughed or teleworking for a month or more, some are now being asked to return to work.

That’s especially true in states such as Georgia and Texas, which have allowed a wide array of businesses to reopen, from movie theaters to salons to some offices.

Multiple federal agencies—including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)—have issued guidance on how employers can make their workplaces safer for employees. But at the moment, these guidelines are just suggestions.

“You can't enforce them . . . because it’s completely voluntary,” says Jonathan Karmel, J.D., a union labor lawyer and the author of "Dying to Work: Death and Injury in the American Workplace" ...

Can I Continue Teleworking?

If you've been able to work remotely and would like to continue doing so, it’s worth bringing it up with your employer.

If you have a pre-existing condition, such as lung disease, impaired immunity, or many other health issues that increase the risk of severe COVID-19, you should be covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), says Peter Blanck, Ph.D., J.D., a lawyer and professor at Syracuse University.

The ADA definition of a disorder is broad, encompassing any “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” 

This includes conditions such as asthma, depression, and anxiety that, along with other disabilities, are assessed on an individual basis—taking current circumstances into account. Pregnancy is covered by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, while older workers are protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. All three laws are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

To deny a teleworking request, your employer would have to show that it’s essential for you come into the office to do your job. 

“These things are case-by-case determinations,” Blanck says ...

Read the full article

Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting Cites Professor Dorfman on "Disability Denials"

Posted on Monday 5/11/2020
Doron Dorfman

Disability denials can amount to 'death sentence,' judge says in Mississippi case

(Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting | May 8, 2020) There’s a human cost of so much time processing cases and waiting to be approved, says Doron Dorfman, associate professor at Syracuse University College of Law. He studied the effect of the disability determination process on the claimants, how it affected their perception of themselves as disabled citizens. In a paper cited by Judge Reeves, Dorfman noted that disability is a fluid concept rather than the rigid definition adopted by the Social Security Administration.

“There’s not a lot of people who look at the procedure from the point of view of the person going through it,” Dorfman told the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting.

Dorfman told the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting that he has studied what he calls the “fear of the disability con” which is the idea that “the way disability law generally is implemented in the U.S. is that everybody is faking disability. I show in my research that this fear is a driving force in disability law.”

Dorfman’s studies showed that disability is often a pride issue, with people not wanting to portray themselves as disabled when that is precisely what the Social Security disability process is asking them to do. Such a display plays into how people feel about themselves and their vision of what disability means, Dorfman noted ...

Read the full article.

Professor Malloy Reviews "Adam Smith: Systematic Philosopher and Public Thinker" in EJHET

Posted on Monday 5/11/2020
Robin Paul Malloy
Review of "Adam Smith: Systematic Philosopher and Public Thinker" by Eric Schliesser (Oxford, 2017). The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought (May 2020). 

In Adam Smith: Systematic Philosopher and Public Thinker, Eric Schliesser presents a case for one view of Adam Smith as a man of system. This is indeed a clever hook for readers, as it seems contrary to Smith’s apparent contempt for the man of system as expressed in The Theory of Moral Sentiments. 

Smith describes the man of system as full of conceit and so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his system that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation or criticism from it. Yet, Smith undertakes to bring order to the world around him and to assign meaning to the relationships he sees. 

Acting as an impartial spectator, Smith imagines and speculates about the origins and progress of social organisation. As such, he systematises his approach and employs what we would call the scientific method to his process of inquiry. 

Presumably, to avoid being his own contemptable man of system, Smith must remain ever open to new ideas, refinement’s, and innovations while possessing the humility to accept his own failings and shortcomings. Schliesser makes the case that Smith is a systematic thinker open to imagining and discovering new ideas and to refining, correcting, and improving on his theory. This is what makes Smith a systematic philosopher rather than a man of system ...

Dean Craig M. Boise in the ABA Journal: How Law Schools Are Planning for Fall 2020

Posted on Monday 5/11/2020
Dean Craig M. Boise

If law schools can’t offer in-person classes this fall, what will they do instead?

(ABA Journal | May 7, 2020) Students may not feel safe attending courses because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that’s also true for professors, say law school deans, many of whom want in-person classes this fall but are making various plans they hope meet ABA accreditation standards.

A spike in the virus is another concern, one that restricts planning very far ahead. Some deans predict law schools will have hybrid courses in the fall, with both in-person and remote class time ...

... “It’s very likely we’ll end up with some sort of hybrid model with some form of social distancing in a residential program. The very nature of a university is the opposite of social distancing, and how you lower the risks associated with the coronavirus and still allow for some interaction is not clear,” Boise says ...

Read the full article.

Professor Nina Kohn Writes in WaPo "America Doesn’t Care About Old People"

Posted on Friday 5/8/2020
Nina Kohn

The Pandemic Exposed a Painful Truth: America Doesn’t Care About Old People

(The Washington Post | April 8, 2020) When the novel coronavirus first emerged, the U.S. response was slowed by the common impression that Covid-19 mainly killed older people. Those who wanted to persuade politicians and the public to take the virus seriously needed to emphasize that — to cite the headline of a political analysis that ran in The Washington Post in March — “It isn’t only the elderly who are at risk from the coronavirus.” The clear implication was that if an illness “merely” decimated older people, we might be able to live with it.

Of course, older adults are at heightened risk, even though Covid-19 strikes younger people, too. But across America — and beyond — we are losing our elders not only because they are especially susceptible. They’re also dying because of a more entrenched epidemic: the devaluation of older lives. Ageism is evident in how we talk about victims from different generations, in the shameful conditions in many nursing homes and even — explicitly — in the formulas some states and health-care systems have developed for determining which desperately ill people get care if there’s a shortage of medical resources.

It’s become clear that nursing homes are particularly deadly incubators: Fourteen states report that more than half of their Covid-19 fatalities are associated with long-term-care facilities. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization says that as many as 50 percent of all deaths in Europe have occurred in such places. Hans Kluge, the WHO’s top official for Europe, called this “an unimaginable human tragedy" ...

Read the full article.

Professor David Driesen: Congress, Fund Absentee Voting to Ensure Democracy Survives Coronavirus Crisis

Posted on Tuesday 5/5/2020
David Driesen

(syracuse.com | May 5, 2020) New York has done the right thing by authorizing widespread absentee balloting in the months ahead, so that New Yorkers can vote without risking their lives by going to crowded polling places. New York is not alone. Thirty-eight states offer no-excuse absentee balloting routinely and others may expand absentee voting to safeguard their elections from coronavirus interference. Many states recognize that no one should be forced to choose between protecting their health and participating in our democracy.

Absentee balloting has worked well in the states that use it as the primary means of voting — Utah, Colorado, Hawaii and Oregon, with no evidence of fraud. North Carolina did encounter fraud in its more limited absentee voting program in 2018. But since absentee voting creates a paper trail, the bipartisan electoral commission was able to catch and correct it. By contrast, if a foreign power flips vote counts on voting machines over the internet, it will prove impossible to detect the changed results in many states.

Expanding absentee balloting responsibly safeguards elections from coronavirus disruption and enjoys the support of Ohio’s respected Republican governor and many other responsible state and local officials of both parties.

But we need to avoid a Wisconsin-like debacle — where the state could not process absentee ballots in time and thousands were disenfranchised or forced to stand in long lines at a few open polling places during a COVID-19 surge ...

Read the full article.

Professor Doron Dorfman Examines "Suspicious Species" on the Ipse Dixit Podcast

Posted on Tuesday 5/5/2020
Doron Dorfman

(Ipse Dixit | May 4, 2020) In this episode, host Brian L. Frye, Spears-Gilbert Associate Professor of Law at the University of Kentucky College of Law, and Professor Doron Dorfman discuss Dorfman's article "Suspicious Species," which will be published in the University of Illinois Law Review. 

Dorfman observes that there is considerable public outrage about the abuse of disability law to bring animals into places where they are prohibited. He describes the different kinds of animals that are protected by disability law and why they are protected, and he reflects on his empirical research into how people perceive and understand the use of service animals. 

Dorfman also explains how to make better policy that will both protect disabled people and their ability to use service animals that provide accommodations, while preventing people from abusing disability law.

Listen to the podcast.


Advocacy Honor Society Announces Award, Scholarship Winners

Posted on Monday 5/4/2020
Advocacy Honor

On April 16, 2020, the College of Law’s Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society celebrated a very successful year of intra- and intercollegiate competitions with a "virtual banquet" via Zoom. 

The following award and scholarship winners announced on the night: 

  • Ralph E. Kharas Award: Joseph Mallek
  • AHS Executive Director Award: Troy Parker and John Mercurio
  • Richard Risman Appellate Advocacy Award: Aubre Dean
  • Emil M. Rossi L’72 Scholarship Award: Joseph Celotto
  • Models of Excellence in Advocacy Award (given in honor of Lisa Peebles L'92): Allison Kowalczyk
  • 2020 Lee S. Michaels Advocate: Joseph Tantillo
  • CourtCall Scholarship Award: Chanan Brown and Kevin Risch
  • The Order of Barristers: Ariel Blanco, Aubre Dean, Davida M. Hawkes, Adam Leydig, Joseph Mallek, Richard Miller, Jill Tompkins, Julia Wingfield, William Wolfe

Among the highlights of the 2019-2020 intercollegiate competition season: 

  • The College of Law hosted the ABA Regional Negotiation Competition and the National Trial Competition (NTC) regional.
  • The College hosted the inaugural Syracuse National Trial Competition. 
  • The Black Law Student Association trial team placed second at the Constance Baker Motley regionals.
  • The ABA Negotiation Competition team advanced to its nationals.
  • The National Moot Court team won its regional.
  • Two Syracuse teams advanced from the National Trial Competition (NTC) regional, in first and second place.
  • Thanks to the NTC team of Adam Leydig, Joe Celotto, and Tyler Jefferies, Syracuse won the Tiffany Cup for the second year in a row! 
  • Based on intercollegiate trial tournament results, Syracuse was invited again to compete at Baylor Law's Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition.
  • In the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Trial Advocacy rankings, Syracuse jumped from #27 to #15 in the nation. 

3L John J. Dowling III Publishes on "Career Offender Enhancement" in NDNY FCBA Newsletter

Posted on Friday 5/1/2020
John J. Dowling III

Analyzing a commonly used sentencing provision, 3L John J. Dowling III has published the article "Circuit Split Deepens Over Whether Inchoate Drug Crimes Trigger Career Offender Enhancement" in the Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association's spring 2020 newsletter.

"The article highlights a deepening circuit split over a provision of the federal sentencing guidelines that can dramatically increase a criminal defendant's sentencing exposure," notes Dowling. "The article will be of interest to law scholars and practitioners—both defense counsel and Assistant United States Attorneys—as the sentencing enhancement is implicated every day in the federal courts."

Read the full article.

"Uncharted Territory": Hon. James E. Baker Helps NYT Explain Trump's Order to Open Meatpacking Plants

Posted on Thursday 4/30/2020
James E. Baker

The Trump Administration’s Legal Moves to Prevent a Meat Shortage, Explained

Contrary to misunderstandings, the actions fall short of ordering meatpacking facilities to reopen despite Covid-19 outbreaks among workers.

(The New York Times | April 29, 2020) The Trump administration moved this week to try to mitigate the effects from the shutdowns of beef, pork and poultry processing facilities amid the Covid-19 pandemic that have potentially endangered an important part of the nation’s food supply chain. But the policy moves have generated confusion.

“We are, in many regards, in uncharted territory,” said James E. Baker, a former legal adviser to the National Security Council and a professor of national security law at Syracuse University ...

... While some of the meatpacking plants have shut down voluntarily after outbreaks to clean their facilities, others have been ordered closed by local health officials. But those closures happened before the federal guidelines. Going forward, if state or local regulators created stricter rules, this maneuver could provide a basis to argue to a judge that the federal standards pre-empted the local ones.

How that would go is an open question. A 1950 ruling from a Federal District Court in Minnesota suggested that if there were a conflict with local rules, a Defense Production Act arrangement would prevail. But Mr. Baker noted that the act’s allocation powers “have not been used in a long time, nor have they been fully litigated.”

Still, he added, it might not be put to the test because there would also be pressures on all involved — the federal and state governments, companies and workers — to reach an accommodation rather than get mired in court ...

Read the full article.

DCEx Concludes Spring Semester with Distinguished Guest Lecturer Scott de la Vega L’94

Posted on Wednesday 4/29/2020

Distinguished Guest Lecturer Scott de la Vega L’94, Director of the Departmental Ethics Office at the US Department of the Interior and Designated Agency Ethics Official, spoke with the Spring 2020 DCEx students over Zoom for their final seminar of the semester. De la Vega has spent much of his career as a government ethics specialist within various government offices including the White House, the Office of Vice President Joe Biden Jr. L’68 and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. 

After graduating from the College of Law in 1994, de la Vega went into the Army JAG Corps, where he practiced litigation and general administrative law for three years. The JAG Corps promoted him to the appellate division in DC where he became the Supreme Court Coordinator. This change in positions started a reoccurring pattern of changing jobs roughly every five years, which has allowed him to learn about different areas of the law. 

After returning to New York City and litigating for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, de la Vega made the jump to the private sector. He went on to work for JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, and the Winter Group. When asked about his time litigating in public service versus his tenure in the private sector, de la Vega felt that the work he did in the private sector had a huge, positive impact on his private sector clients. For example, by ensuring the company he worked for had strong compliance rules and regulations, they were able to save thousands of families from taking on bad mortgages. 

De la Vega provided important advice to the students regarding the possibility of graduating from law school during a difficult economic time. He explained how important it was to keep an open mind about different areas of law and how they may lead to unexpected opportunities. He emphasized how important skills such as legal writing and building relationships are for a successful career and reminded that students that they never know where their legal career may end up. 

3L Jonathan Pilat Takes Part in Federal Rulemaking Process by Submitting a Public Comment on a Proposed Veterans Law Legislation

Posted on Tuesday 4/28/2020
Jonathan Pilat

3L Jonathan Pilat used the legal expertise that he gained during his semester as a student attorney in the Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic (VLC), paired it with his interest in public policy, and submitted an official public comment in April on a proposed legislative change by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

This change proposed to amend the VA’s regulations in a way that would negatively affect Pilat and student attorneys in Veterans’ legal clinics across the nation. The VA’s proposal would limit the access of student attorneys to records kept within the Veterans Benefits Administration's information technology systems, as a privacy and security measure. These systems hold VA records relevant to veterans’ benefits claims, and if student attorneys like Pilat have access to these records they are able to best represent their Veteran clients.

Recognizing the opportunity to raise the concern about access on behalf of the VLC, Pilat crafted a constructive and well-written public comment, clearly voicing dissent for this change, and communicating the concerns of the VLC. In addition, he advocated for a solution that would continue to allow ease of access to Veterans benefits records either with the current regulation in place or under an amendment that would enable clinic students to qualify for read-only access to records.  By law, agencies must review all public comments received, and are required to respond to all comments in the preamble of their final regulation - whether they accept the suggestion or not. 

"It was such a pleasure to submit this comment on behalf of the College of Law and the Veterans Legal Clinic. Administrative Law is a passion for me and an area I have worked outside the law school, and it happened to coincide with my best class in law school,” says Pilat.  “I participated in the mechanisms of administrative rule making that we learned in the class in a real-life scenario with implications on our Clinic and veterans across the country. It means the world to me to be able to advocate in favor of the Clinic and veterans in the federal process. I certainly learned a lot through the process and look forward to working with the Clinic on similar issues."

In addition to providing representation to veterans and their families seeking benefits from the VA, the VLC engages in opportunities to participate in the rule making process and shape policy in veterans law.  Through these legislative initiatives, the VLC aims to help VA policymakers improve federal regulations to better serve veterans.

Professor Nina Kohn Reviews the Move to Online Learning During COVID-19 for eLearning Inside

Posted on Monday 4/27/2020
Nina Kohn

(eLearning Inside | April 27, 2020) ... When the outbreak of COVID-19 reached the U.S. and shut down virtually all face-to-face instruction, the ABA issued a memo encouraging institutions to respond to the pandemic by going online and allowed that the pandemic could “necessitate or make advisable some departure from the normal operation of the law school’s J.D. program.”

Online J.D. programs were well-equipped to transition their in-person students online. “We were lucky in that we had the capacity to easily move in-person students over to the online modality,” Syracuse Professor and Faculty Director Nina Kohn said. “We have a student affairs office that’s used to working with students remotely. We have an office of career services that knows how to make programming available online. We have an IT staff that understands how to support faculty and students on Zoom" ...

Read the full article.

3L Adam Leydig and 2L Tyler Jeffries to Represent the College of Law at the Top Gun National Trial Tournament

Posted on Monday 4/27/2020
Tyler Jeffries and Adam Leydig

3L Adam Leydig and 2L Tyler Jeffries will represent the College of Law at the annual Top Gun National Trial Tournament. Instead of taking place at Baylor University School of Law, Top Gun will be held online May 27-31, the first full-trial online law school competition. Leydig is the advocate with Jeffries serving as the second chair. Joanne Van Dyke L’87 coaches the Top Gun team.

This is the fourth consecutive year the College of Law will participate in the prestigious invitation-only competition. Top Gun is an innovative competition where the single best advocates from sixteen of the top trial advocacy schools go head-to-head for the honor of being designated as Top Gun. The winner receives a $10,000 prize. 

Unlike other trial competitions, participants do not receive the case file until the day before they compete. Preparation includes reviewing depositions, records, and photographs. Shortly before each round, competitors are assigned witnesses who may be used at their discretion during the round. The jurors for each round are distinguished trial lawyers and judges.

“Being invited to the Top Gun competition is a significant accomplishment for the law school and our students. This year’s online format will make this highly challenging event even more exciting,” says Van Dyke. “Adam and Tyler are experienced advocates whose exemplary track record in a variety of competitions makes them an ideal team to take on this test.”

Leydig won the 2019 National Trial Competition (NTC) regional and best advocate for the final round, along with best cross-examination. He advanced to the 2019 NTC national quarterfinals. He also advanced to the 2019 Tournament of Champions semifinals and won best advocate in the preliminary rounds. He won the 2020 NTC regional and the best opening statement award. His team also won the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) Tiffany Cup in 2019 and 2020.

Jeffries was on the 2019 Syracuse National Trial Competition team that advanced to the semifinals. She was also on the 2020 NTC team that won the regional and the NYSBA Tiffany Cup. Jeffries was a member of the 2020 American Association of Justice team.

Professor David Driesen: Trump's Quislings

Posted on Monday 4/27/2020
David Driesen

(History News Network | April 26, 2020) President Trump has made it absolutely clear to every federal official that he will fire anybody who follows the law when it conflicts with his personal will. 

He fired FBI Director James Comey for investigating national security adviser Michael Flynn’s illegal conduct. Trump viciously forced out acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who authorized investigation of presidential obstruction of justice, days before he would become eligible for a pension and then his administration tried (unsuccessfully) to get a grand jury to indict him criminally.  

He dismissed Attorney General Jeffrey Sessions, who obeyed ethics rules requiring his recusal from investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 election. He secured the resignation of Homeland Security Director Kirstjen Nielsen, who wanted the administration to obey the laws protecting immigrants with bona fide asylum claims from deportation.  

He humiliated Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman by having him escorted off the White House grounds like a criminal, because he obeyed a lawful congressional subpoena requiring him to testify about President Trump’s conduct with respect to Ukraine. 

Trump cast out Inspector General Michael Atkinson for obeying the law requiring him to share whistleblower complaints with Congress ...

Read the full article.

Professor Nina Kohn: Addressing the Crisis in Long-Term Care Facilities

Posted on Friday 4/24/2020
Nina Kohn

(The Hill | April 23, 2020) Bodies are piling up in long-term care facilities across the country and spiraling death rates show no signs of subsiding. These facilities are prime breeding grounds for infection. In addition to residents’ inherent vulnerability, measly sick leave policies encourage staff to come to work sick, and low pay leads direct care workers to hold multiple jobs — often at other long-term care facilities. 

The result is staff are nearly perfect vectors for COVID-19, as outbreak patterns in Seattle suggest. Indeed, even prior to the pandemic, most nursing homes — including those earning “five stars” on the federal government’s Nursing Home Compare website — had documented infection control problems.  

The federal response to COVID-19 will do little to improve nursing home residents’ odds of survival. Rather than ramping up efforts to protect residents, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), which oversees nursing homes, has responded to the novel coronavirus with guidance that prevents meaningful oversight …

Read the full article.

College of Law Students and Professor Robin Paul Malloy Use Videoconferencing Technology to Deliver the 8th Annual Issues in Local Zoning Education

Posted on Thursday 4/23/2020
Audrey Bimbi, Alison Burrows, Kaitlin Jacobs

For the past seven springs, Professor Robin Paul Malloy and students in his Advanced Zoning Law class develop and present a continuing education program to Onondaga County, NY zoning and planning officials. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, Professor Malloy, the students, and the Town of DeWitt shifted the Issues in Local Zoning Education and Training program to an online format. 50 local planning and zoning officials attended the online event held in mid-April.

College of Law students presented:

• Area and Use Variances, and Article 78 Review Criteria (Alison Burrows 3L)

• ADA & Reasonable Accommodations to Local Zoning Code Requirements (Audrey Bimbi 2L)

• Spot Zoning (Kaitlin Jacob 3L)

Professor Malloy presented Advancing Accessible Communities: Disability Law for Planning and Zoning Officials.

“The annual program provides an excellent opportunity for select law students to gain hands-on experience dealing with real zoning law issues and responding to difficult questions from local zoning officials,” says Malloy.  “At the same time, it provides our Central New York Community with valuable continuing education and training. It is a win-win situation for everyone involved.”

Professor Nina Kohn Discusses How COVID-19 Informs "Aging and the Law"

Posted on Thursday 4/23/2020
Nina Kohn teaches

Changing course: Yale classes adapt to the pandemic

(YaleNews | April 20, 2020) ... Nina Kohn, visiting professor of law at Yale Law School, said the pandemic immediately raised questions pertinent to her spring seminar “Aging and the Law.”

“The pandemic has made tangible many of the ethical and legal questions we ask students to grapple with, and thus had a profound effect in shaping the conversations we have with students,” she said.

One of the course’s key themes is the requirements for intergenerational justice. In other words, said Kohn: “What do generations owe one another?” And “When can and should the law differentiate on the basis of chronological age?”

With COVID-19 patients overwhelming hospital intensive care units and forcing medical professionals to make difficult decisions, Kohn said that the lessons of her course have never been more relevant.

“We ask students to focus on the tough and uncomfortable questions,” she said.  “Should ventilators be rationed based on age?  Should it be lawful to refuse to resuscitate older COVID-19 patients?  These are hard questions but necessary ones, and they have certainly affected the tenor of the class" ...

Read the full article.

University Professor David Driesen writes on the US Supreme Court’s decision in the recent Wisconsin election case

Posted on Wednesday 4/22/2020

(verfassungsblog.de | April 22, 2020) United States lawyers may wonder whether President Trump has captured its Supreme Court. One day before a presidential primary and local election in Wisconsin, the Court intervened in an extraordinary way to add a new voting restriction. The decision in Republican National Committee v. Democratic National Committee provides further evidence that the Court has abandoned its high court role in favor of unusual partisan interventions to effectuate results found congenial by its Republican majority. Furthermore, a Court usually sensitive to national security concerns reached its judgment about the Wisconsin election without taking the threat the coronavirus poses to democratic processes seriously.

This case arose out of a voting rights challenge to Wisconsin’s decision to hold its election on April 7, in spite of an outbreak of the coronavirus that might well force citizens to relinquish their right to vote rather than risk death at the polls. The District Court declined to delay the election, but provided some relief by extending the deadline for receipt of absentee ballots from April 7 until April 13. In the wake of the coronavirus, the Wisconsin Board of Elections had received an extraordinary number of applications for absentee ballots and fallen far behind in sending out ballots. 

The District Court judge recognized that these delays would prevent many citizens who had met the application deadline from using the absentee ballots to vote. The deadline extension made it more likely that those who had applied for absentee ballots would be able to use them.

An emerging practice of shadow docket activism

This case looked like a poor candidate for Supreme Court review. The Supreme Court has, in the past, said that review of district court orders is rarely granted.

In recent years, however, the Court has moved away from traditional restraints on Supreme Court activism in cases important to the Trump administration. It has created a shadow docket that often relieves the Trump administration of temporary legal restraints on its policy initiatives when they appear illegal to District Courts. 

Trump’s effort to deploy resources to build a wall on the border with Mexico in defiance of congressional wishes and dubious policies potentially imperiling the lives of asylum seekers have received this sort of solicitude. Republican National Committee extends this emerging practice of shadow docket activism on behalf of the President’s initiatives to those of the Republican Party as a whole and accordingly generated a 5-4 split along party lines. The Court resolves shadow docket cases without full briefing or oral argument, which may make partisan views more likely to influence cases.

At the request of the Republican National Committee, the Court’s Republican majority added a requirement that ballots due on April 13 under the District Court order must be mailed and postmarked by Election Day, April 7. The District Court had refused a Wisconsin State Board of election request to add a postmarking requirement, because it would interfere with the goal of the deadline extension – to enable voters getting ballots late to vote.

The Supreme Court’s opinion suggests that the majority is protecting a state legal requirement from an overly activist District Court Judge. But the majority did not claim that the state law established any deadlines for postmarking a ballot ...

Read the full article

2Ls Lisa Cole and Christy O’Neil Participate in the First National Online Trial Advocacy Competition

Posted on Tuesday 4/21/2020
Lisa Cole and Christy O'Neil

2Ls Lisa Cole and Christy O’Neil represented the College of Law in the first National Online Trial Advocacy Competition, with O’Neil advancing to the semifinal round.

The National Online Trial Advocacy Competition was organized to fill the void left by the cancellation of most spring competitions. 

170 students from 67 law schools entered the competition by submitting opening statement videos. The videos were reviewed by over 400 volunteer evaluators, including practicing trial attorneys, law school professors, and sitting judges, and the top scoring advocates advanced to the semifinal round.

Cole and O’Neil were members of the 2019 Tournament of Champions team that advanced to the semifinals, and the 2020 National Trial Competition team that advanced to national round before its cancellation.

Background Briefing: Professor William C. Banks Assesses the Possibility of Martial Law

Posted on Monday 4/20/2020
William C. Banks

Is Trump Both the Arsonist and the Fire Brigade Sparking Insurrection Then Declaring Martial Law?

(Background Briefing | April 19, 2020) We look further into Trump’s encouragement of insurrection, aided and abetted by his propaganda mouthpiece Fox News, and speak with William Banks, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Syracuse University College of Law who is the author of Soldiers on the Home Front: The Domestic Role of the American Military and has an article at The AtlanticMartial Law Would Sweep the Country Into a Great Legal Unknown“. 

He joins us to discuss how Trump is both the arsonist and the fire brigade igniting the spark of insurrection while possibly declaring martial law to put out the “Reichstag Fire” he has lit. Unfortunately while unprecedented, this prospect is not entirely hypothetical given Trump’s hatred of the press which he would shut down, and his fear of losing the election, which he would suspend.

Listen to the podcast.

Professor Doron Dorfman: Can COVID-19 Interstate Travel Restrictions Help Lift the FDA’s Blood Ban

Posted on Thursday 4/16/2020
Doron Dorfman
"Can the COVID-19 Interstate Travel Restrictions Help Lift the FDA’s Blood Ban?" Journal of Law and the Biosciences (forthcoming 2020).

Optimism among health law scholars is rare in the time of coronavirus. Yet this piece suggests that the crisis might be helpful in overruling one controversial health law policy that predates the virus: the FDA’s blood donation ban for gay and bisexual men. 

The blood ban was developed in response to the 1980s HIV-AIDS outbreak. Scholars have criticized this policy for years now as being outdated and unconstitutional. A step in the right direction occurred on April 2, 2020, when the FDA issued new recommendations to blood banks changing the one-year deferral for donations from men who have sex with men to a three-month deferral due to the shortage in the blood supply and after a public outcry on the issue. 

Yet, the policy is still problematic as it expresses disdain about sex between men. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, states have issued travel restrictions on travelers from severely impacted states. Professor Doron Dorfman's new article argues that outside of the dwindling blood supply, experience with stigma as a result of the travel restrictions has the potential to change public perceptions about the ban. Both policies, the blood ban and the COVID-19 interstate travel restrictions, are necessary for the short term, are based on activities connected with a disease, and create stigma with respect to the affected populations. 

Although no one can imagine the travel restrictions continuing after the pandemic is under control, the FDA’s ban has existed for decades after the end of the AIDS crisis. Drawing parallels between the policies and their stigmatizing effects could help mobilize the public against the blood ban and eventually have it lifted entirely.

Online Law Degree Program Benefits Many in COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted on Wednesday 4/15/2020

Throughout March, many law schools transitioned to online instruction in response to COVID-19. At Syracuse University, it has been relatively easy.   “We're very fortunate at the College of Law that we've already spent years thinking through how you bring law school online in a way that works for students,” says Nina Kohn, a David M. Levy Professor of Law and faculty director of online education. The best practices that Kohn and her colleagues have developed in creating the country’s first fully interactive online ABA-accredited law degree program, Syracuse University’s JDinteractive (JDi), have enabled a more seamless transition for Syracuse’s faculty and residential students to shift online. The College of Law’s collective experiences teaching and supporting students online have also provided valuable insight and lessons for law schools around the nation as they transition to online learning.

Tiffany Love L’22 was one of the first students admitted to JDi. Love is a military spouse who was planning to attend a traditional law school in 2019 after her family returned from being stationed in Japan. While preparing for the Law School Admission Test, her husband’s military career forced her to change her plans. Instead of being sent back to the United States, her husband was ordered to serve in Germany for the next several years. JDi has enabled her to overcome the physical distance and work on her law degree. The support for JDi students like Love is now being used as the model to support all students at the College of Law. Faculty interaction outside of the online classroom, such as flexible office hours, is critical to student success. College of Law faculty have embraced many practices to ensure all online students, JDi and residential, receive timely feedback and guidance. “I met with our constitutional law professor several weeks back,” Love says. “It was after work for me and it was morning for him, but they've been very flexible. Help, chat or support, they're there and they're willing to find the time. The program is so portable that it doesn't matter where I am and what time zone I'm in.”

Tiffany Love
Tiffany Love
To support the success of legal education online, many resources and systems that support residential students, such as academic counseling and the law library, needed to be made fully available online to support JDi students when the program launched in January 2019. The solutions devised prior to the pandemic are now being used to support residential students. “We are well-positioned to support our residential students during this incredibly challenging time,” Kohn says. “And we’re able to play a leadership role on the national scale, showing other law schools what high-quality legal education can look like online.” Kohn, who led the development of the program and teaches in it, has run free webinars offering training and support for law faculty from all over the country.

Kohn says law schools moving online to respond to COVID-19 have two primary challenges: “First, how do you bring classes online in a way that is very high quality?” she says. “Second, how do you bring the portions of school, that aren't classes, online?”

To address the first challenge, Kohn says law schools have to support faculty in the transition to a virtual classroom. “We want every faculty member to go to their first online class with the tools they need to feel comfortable,” she says. “Because at the end of the day, almost everything a law faculty member can do in a live residential class, they can do in an online class if they have thought it through and know the tools.” Indeed, Love says that her class experience has not been hampered by living thousands of miles from her classmates and professors. “In class, we still get the same experience. We still get cold-called. We still get drilled for details about cases.”

Law faculty at Syracuse who haven’t taught online previously are using colleagues who have taught in the JDi program as a resource. “You never want students being the guinea pigs,” Kohn says. “I want faculty to try breakout groups for the first time with me or with another colleague, not with their students.” In working with faculty members, Kohn emphasizes how different teaching techniques can be employed in a virtual classroom. “Having students debate, having them critique each other's work, there are ways to bring that online in a way that feels very authentic and seamless if you have a little training.”   

The second challenge is bringing student support services and resources online. “This is a place where we are in a unique position,” Kohn says. “If you look at our traditional university, a lot of things are critical to the student learning experience that are outside of class.” For example, College of Law staff already have experience with online career counseling and networking and helping student groups meet online, thanks to JDi.

The solutions the College of Law has developed to build an online community for JDi students are now being used to provide continuity of services, resources, and comradery for residential students under these daunting circumstances. “I think at this moment where we're all isolated, it becomes incredibly important where we can offer students an opportunity to connect with one another,” Kohn says.

Community is a hallmark of the JDi program. “My study partner is in Philadelphia and we try to meet once a week on Zoom and just connect and review if we need to,” Love says. “I still feel extremely connected to my classmates even though we're very distant.”  And now, residential students are using the same tools and systems in a similar manner.

Kohn finds it rewarding that the work she and her colleagues have done to build the JDi program can now be used to support all College of Law students during this time of crisis. “We have always been one law school, and this really brings that home,” she says.

The broader legal education community was closely watching the JDi program since day one in January 2019, says Kohn. More recently faculty from across the country have been reaching out to her to learn how to best provide legal education online. “All eyes have been on JDi since it launched, and now we are sharing what we have learned with other legal educators during the crisis,” Kohn says.

Burton Blatt Institute Launches Web Page for COVID-19 Resources for Disabled People and Allies

Posted on Wednesday 4/15/2020

The Burton Blatt Institute’s (BBI) Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach (OIPO) has established the OIPO New York State COVID-19 Online Resources web page that gathers and organizes Syracuse, Central New York, and New York State COVID-19-related links and contact information of interest to disabled people. A great majority of these resources will also be of interest and relevance to nondisabled individuals and families. 

“The team at the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach at the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University’s College of Law joins our colleagues at the Southeast ADA Center (SEADA) in gathering and organizing resources that center on the rights, access, and experiences of disabled people during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Diane Wiener, Research Professor and Associate Director of BBI’s Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach. 

Please note that inclusion of a resource on the web page does not necessarily mean an endorsement by BBI, nor can BBI attest to every referenced site’s accessibility. 

Professor Wiener has also curated a broad set of wellness, creativity, and advocacy resources of interest during the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach: The Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach of the Burton Blatt Institute seeks to engage disability across colleges and academic disciplines both at Syracuse University and around the world. The aim of this office within the Burton Blatt Institute is to promote opportunities for cooperative teaching, research, and social advocacy by recognizing the far-reaching nature of disability in a global age.

About the Burton Blatt Institute: The Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University reaches around the globe in its efforts to advance the civic, economic, and social participation of people with disabilities. BBI builds on the legacy of Burton Blatt, former Dean of SU’s School of Education and a pioneering disability rights scholar, to better the lives of people with disabilities. BBI has offices in Syracuse, NY, New York City, NY, Washington, DC, Lexington, KY, and Atlanta, GA. bbi.syr.edu